On a balmy Saturday afternoon in Sydney at the end of November, The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society partnered with Handpicked Wines to launch their new (and quite unusual) Rosé – as well as new vintages of other wines in their portfolio – at what can only be described as one of the most unique wine events of the millennium.
Billed as Australia’s first ‘Wine Wedding’ the event was a mock-wedding set up on a Sydney rooftop complete with altar, flowers, wedding cake and a cheese and dessert buffet. The idea was to create a fun and fabulous celebration of the union between you and wine – the perfect relationship! As well as to have a bit of a play on the decidedly unusual but delicious union between Pinot Noir and Marsanne skins that went into the creation of their new Yarra Valley Rosé.
Guests were instructed to ‘frock up and be fabulous’ as per any wedding, and as you can see from the pics, everyone indeed rose to the challenge! There were more than a few ex-bridesmaids dresses on display (of which one just may have been my own dashing, bright pink number from the mid-90’s).
As the afternoon progressed, Handpicked Wines winemaker Peter Dillon and I exchanged…ahem…flowers at the altar before giving the ‘speeches’. (All the while I was desperately hoping my husband wasn’t seeing the Instagram feed of me at the altar with another bloke!). Peter spoke about the philosophy of Handpicked Wines to produce the best wines from the best parcels of land within the best regions, and how the new Rosé from the Yarra Valley came about.
Based on feedback from consumers, Peter’s brief was that it had to be a savoury wine in the style of French Provencal rosé – light in colour, aromatic and with palate weight and texture. But he and chief winemaker Gary Baldwin knew that they couldn’t achieve that style through Pinot Noir alone. A light bulb moment came when they decided to ferment the Pinot Noir juice on Marsanne skins (as you would ferment a red wine). The result? A dry, textured, pale orange-pink style Rosé with plenty of delicate fruit flavours and aromas. What an inspired marriage!