Watching an industry come together is an inspiring sight and this is exactly what happened with the inaugural Rootstock Festival last week. It was pitched as a sustainable & artisan wine & food festival, some were calling it a ‘natural’ wine fair which can polarise many with it’s linguistic connotations. However Rootstock was far from a niche group of radicals bandying together, but far more importantly a diverse cross section of an industry all of whom hold sustainability and quality as guiding lights to their business. This alone added depth & texture to the day, both literally and metaphorically.
The biggest win in my mind is that the average person was presented with an impressive range of styles from the technically faulty (if you wish to take it there) all the way to the super clean and everywhere in-between. Drinkability was the key, appreciating that some bitterness here, a touch of phenolic grip there may add to the overall enjoyment and that the most important question to ask after analysing a wine to death is ‘do I like it?’
Another win, was the awesome representation of Australian wineries & while they didn’t necessarily have to travel as far as some of the other exhibitors, they gave everyone an insight into the new wave of Australian wines. The wines we often read about but rarely get the chance to taste and they certainly left a real impression.
Judging by the crowd, it closed the gap between wine dork & the all important wine drinker. I’d like to think that we even gained a few non-wine drinkers to the fray. So lets celebrate diversity in wine, not just in the soils but in the drinking culture. I’m already looking forward to Rootstock 2014.
What was I doing there? I was flying the flag for Thymiopoulos Vineyards a small, family run estate located in Naoussa, Greece. Their pure fruited Xinomavro’s have set a new benchmark in this much lauded region.