Monday, March 10, 2008

Eastern WA Meets Down Under WA

Last year, wine writer Paul Gregutt toured Western Australia wine country and conceived the idea for WA to meet WA - a winemaker exchange between the Wine Industry Association of Western Australia (WA) and the Washington Wine Commission (WA). It will be the first ever region-to-region winemaker exchange program. Both areas of WA share more than the same acronym, as they are both cool-climate regions dominated by boutique producers making ultra-premium wines. Also, both regions make up less than four percent of their nation's wine production. Washington State and Western Australia are known to produce higher acidic and more refined wines. And like all countries in the southern hemisphere (south of the Equator) the seasons in Australia are opposite from ours. Australia's crush is in February/March and of course, ours is September/October. The time differences really makes for ideal circumstances for each winemaker.

Virginie Bourgue, winemaker for Walla Walla's new Cadaretta Winery (formerly of Bergevin Lane), will be the first winemaker from Washington State to be part of the exchange. Bourgue is currently in Western Australia with winemaker Larry Cherubino from The Yard Winery/Cherubino Wines. And Cherubino will join Bourgue at Cadaretta in Walla Walla during the 2008 Washington crush this fall. For both winemakers, this will be their first visit to "The other WA."

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