The following article comes from the Naracoorte Herald, 26/09/2013
WRATTONBULLY was just one local wine region put under the microscope by the internationally renowned “Wine Detective” recently.
Sarah Ahmed stopped in at Wrattonbully on September 11 to cast her eye over what has been happening in the region.
She was in the country for Savour Australia and flew in early to get a look around.
Ms Ahmed is a London-based award winning freelance wine writer, educator, international wine judge and Portugal regional chair for the Decanter World Wine Awards. She regularly travels to Australia and has judged at Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia and will be judging at the Rutherglen Wine Show this year.
“She really wanted to see and learn about the Limestone Coast wine regions,” Wrattonbully Wine Industries Association chair James Freckleton told the Herald.
“She was quite interested with the geology of the region,” he said. “Steve Bourne (former manager of the Naracoorte Caves) came out and spoke to her about caves being opened during development of the vineyards.”
Mr Bourne said he was happy to facilitate Ms Ahmed’s great interest in what lay beneath the vineyards.
“What we shared with her was the geology of the Wrattonbully region,” he said. “How the Wrattonbully Ranges came to be…cave development, how they were created through water.”
This tour included taking Ms Ahmed to a cave found during vineyard development.
When the vineyards were being created in the early 2000s, deep ripping of the earth resulted in some caves being pierced and opened from the surface.
Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard was named after one of these caves after a 35 million-year-old whalebone skeleton was found beneath the vineyard in a limestone cave opened by the development.
“It gave her a unique experience,” Mr Freckleton said.
After lunch at the Naracoorte Caves it was time for more wine tasting where Mr Freckleton said the special guest got a good taste of Wrattonbully.
“We did a regional tasting of wine,” he said. “It was what we felt was a best expression of our region.”
They spoke more about the region over dinner with other vignerons at Treasury Wine Estate’s Schultz Cave.
Mr Freckleton said Ms Ahmed’s trip to Wrattonbully was a “fantastic” advertisement for the region, helping it to make an impression in the marketplace.
“We’re a region trying to stand up and get noticed,” he said. “You get people like Sarah who are passionate about it…who want to get to the heart, the passion of the region.
“People want the stories, which she is passionate about.”
While in the Limestone Coast Ms Ahmed was also scheduled to visit Coonawarra and Mount Benson.