This semester, I am taking a class called “The Australian Wine Industry.” I know what you are thinking– drinking in class? How can I possibly be receiving credit for this? Is this even a real thing? I had that initial reaction as well, and it took my parents a bit of convincing that this would provide an educational experience. I am glad that my convincing has been justified, as this class is proving to be extremely enlightening on various topics including wine tasting, food pairing, and marketing in the wine industry.
As a supplement to our classroom learning, our class of 20 students recently traveled two hours out of Sydney to the Hunter Valley Region of Australia. Our trip consisted of two days, six different wineries, some cheese and chocolate along the way, and about 36 different wine tastings.
Each tasting session and winery was quite different, but each tasting consisted of about two or three white wines, a rosé, two or three red wines, and then two dessert or fortified wines. The wineries we visited were Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Drayton, Tulloch, Tyrrells, Peterson House, and De Bortoli Wines.
My personal favorites were Tamburlaine and Peterson House because we were invited into private, intimate tasting sessions, which fostered meaningful interactions with the staff. This only made the tastings even more special and added to our knowledge of wine.
Peterson House, known for its sparkling wine, was our second to last winery of the trip where I tried two of my favorite wines I have ever had. I went home with the Peterson House Dolce Per Tutti Moscato and a Botrytis Semillon which is a white dessert wine.
As an advertising student, I was fascinated with how each winery positioned themselves to stand out, as the Hunter Valley region has over 150 wineries. Whether it was simple things like pictures on a wine label or discount promotions, or more drastic attributes like being an organic winery, I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the marketing efforts.
At Tyrrells, we were able to venture toward the vines where the grapes were growing. We even got to taste the grapes– they were small and sweet and added to my appreciation of wine.
It was a wonderful weekend full of learning about wine, trying wines I may not have ever thought of trying, and going home with a stronger appreciation for wine and winemaking. If that isn’t considered educational, I don’t know what is.
Laura Jeshiva, Study Abroad Correspondent
Laura Jeshiva is a junior at Boston University studying advertising. She is currently studying abroad in Sydney, Australia where she looks to travel, try new food, and have an internship at an advertising agency. In Boston, Laura is an ambassador for the College of Communication and a member of AdLab.