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Inside the National Wine Centre.
Inside the National Wine Centre.
Plenty of wines to choose from.
Sorrel enjoys a glorious lunch.

National Wine Centre

Thursday, November 22, 2001
Welcome to Adelaide's new pride and joy … it's a world first and has all wine regions right here in one place — cheers!

Adelaide's new pride and joy is the National Wine Centre. It is a world first and is home of the Australian wine industry, with all wineries and regions being represented. The centre's rammed earth walls are made from Berri sand, Gawler clay and Golden Grove road base. The aesthetically pleasing structure represents the important natural elements of the wine industry and environment.

The $25 million project was funded by both the Federal and South Australian Governments and has an interactive wine discovery journey, restaurant/cafe, function rooms, education facilities, retail outlet, tasting gallery and a hectare of vines representing the seven main varieties grown in Australia.

It has always been that wine appreciation was a rather parochial affair — Hunter, Barossa, Margaret River — vineyards with cellar doors next to each other and offering similar wines. Now, you can sample the best of Australia's 61 wine growing regions under one roof.

The state-of-the-art exhibition takes you through every aspect of wine making. Gallery 1 is "Growing Grapes", and you can see where the wine regions are, as well as 16 models of our more popular varieties. Visitors can wonder at interactive displays of microscopic images of the structure of the grape and wine, its DNA level and analyse the effects of vine pests and diseases.

Theatrical light and sound depict weather over a 140-year-old Shiraz vine, and the beginnings of wine making are represented by a collection of Greek and Roman wine storage and drinking vessels.

Gallery 2 is where you can have a "virtual" chat with some of Australia's most prominent wine makers who appear to be floating in front of you.

The Making Wine hall, an area of cathedral-like proportions, has the sights and sounds of modern winemaking, with a backdrop of a towering wall of wine barrels. You can have a "virtual" attempt at blending your own wine, and receive a judgement of its flavour and character. A year in the life of the vineyard has a panoramic video projection featuring fruiting and harvest times.

A large central area has modern wine-processing equipment showing red and white wine being made. Also on display is fascinating memorabilia of stories, objects, people and advertising chronicling the history of Australian wine-making.

The next hall is a rather intimate space where you can ask questions of more "virtual" personalities, such as tasters and chefs. They advise what wine to drink with what food, and how to cook with wine.

The drinking wine hall has higher light levels, stronger colours and a sophisticated feel. Transparent walls detail the history of the wineglass, and four-wall showcases highlight the bottle, the closure, the corkscrew and tasting glass. A feature wall of coloured wine bottles creates a rich, glowing collage of glass.

Visitors can test their taste skills at beautiful pedestals, and journey through four wine varieties, using smell and taste senses.

The centre's restaurant, de Castella's, has access to all wines in the cellar, and features those being showcased in the tasting gallery. Fresh Australian produce is featured in the restaurant, and wine may be purchased by the glass to accompany the food.

A real advantage for the industry is to assist with exposure on national and international levels through the centre's co-operative marketing initiative and educational courses. A duty-free company has agreed to have displays and tastings at their international airport stores and city duty free stores.

Location

The centre of Adelaide.

Cost

National Wine Centre entry costs $11 for adults and $6 for children. Wine tastings start at $5. The centre is open every day.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

National Wine Centre of Australia
Botanic Road, Adelaide 5000
Ph: (08) 8222 9200 Fax: (08) 8222 9201
Website: www.wineaustralia.com.au
E-mail: info@nationalwinecentre.com.au

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