The weekend of 27 and 28 October saw the return of the annual UNWINED festival to Market Square in Subiaco. A sunny warm day saw many flock along to what is becoming one of the most anticipated wine shows on the calendar of Perth wine lovers.
The setup is one of its many attractions – widely spaced booths to allow free flow of visitors, a separate food area with tables, chairs, umbrellas and shady trees, a central gazebo where from where speeches can be made and a band play, and tents housing special ticketed events where, for example, food matching exhibitions take place.
Wine was firmly to the forefront, but there was also the chance to taste a little beer and cider and a couple of distilleries were there promoting their wares – including the artisan gins from the Swan Valley Gin Company, who were co-located, as they are in the Valley, with Pandemonium Wines.
All told there were around 45 wineries on display with more than 300 wines to sample. Of course we never quite managed to try the lot – or even something from each of the wineries – but there were some excellent wines that we did.
One of my favourite WA styles are the Rieslings from the Great Southern, and especially some with bottle age – and there were many to try – John and Jo Bradbury from 3Drops turn out some of the best – as Ray Jordan noted a week or so ago in the West – and were on hand to talk about all of their wines; John Sprigg from Trevelen Farm was also in attendance – a true character of the Great Southern and his aged Rieslings are superb. I was also taken by the 2018 Riesling from Xabregas and Talisman from the Ferguson Valley also had a beauty.
The sparkling wines from the Swan Valley’s Sittella were as always outstanding – these really are something special and are rightly regarded as some of WA’s best.
Picardy had a range of their wines to sample – and none better than their two Pinot Noir – the estate Pinot and top of the range Tête De Cuvée, the best Pinot produced in the State I reckon.
A couple of biodynamic wines from Bunn in the Great Southern really impressed – 2008 Shiraz and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – as did the Cabernets from Margaret River’s Fermoy Estate.
A winery new to me from Cookernup, Moojellup Farm, had an impressive Cabernet, while Vineyard 28 from Harvey always have some interesting Italian styles on offer – and their Arneis and Dolcetto were up to the mark.
One of the other things that impressed me was the quality of the food – a world away from burgers and chips – our pita pockets from Phat Pharoah were excellent – healthy too I’ll wager.
So Unwined was a great day out for us – and we will be looking forward to a visit again in 2019 – excellent wines, good food, great atmosphere, well set-up. Top class all round. You should definitely have it in your diary. One last tip – if you go along make the investment in a Plumm tasting glass – for a few dollars more you get a much better tasting experience.
Disclaimer: We were the guests of CMS Events and received free entry – we did however upgrade to the Plumm glass!