PRINT. Restaurant and our sister rooftop venue The Press Lounge are great places to host private events — we regularly organize events ranging in size from intimate special dinners for two, to parties for over three hundred people. It’s a very cool thing to be part of special occasions and moments in people’s lives, and also to see the interesting and creative things that our guests and our team collaborate on. Last week, Australia’s First Families of Wine took over The Press Lounge for the day as part of their Unlocked Tour de Force in the USA and Canada.
AFFW is an organization of a dozen of Australia’s most renowned and oldest family owned wineries. We think of Australia as part of the New World when talking about winemaking, but these wineries have some rather historic founding dates: Brown Brothers (1885), Campbells (1870), d’Arenberg (1912), De Bortoli Wines (1928), Henschke (1868), Howard Park (1986), Jim Barry Wines (1959), McWilliam’s Wines (1877), Tahbilk (1860), Taylors (1969), Tyrrell’s Wines (1858) and Yalumba (1849).
The goal of the group is to promote some of the premiere wines that come from Oz and to highlight the history and quality of winemaking in the country, and to remind people that not all Australian wines are cheap and cheerful plonk.
AFFW hosted a full day of seminars, speed-tasting events, and just some lovely tasting and talking against the backdrop of our great river and skyline views. The event was mostly for media and trade, but we were lucky to be invited to join the festivities for part of the day. It was really interesting to see the range and histories of the wineries and the wineries they produce and to also hear the stories of the families who have made these wines for generations. All of the winemakers had stories of their parents, grandparents, and many previous generations working in the winery and several of them had brought their children along to mark the next generation. A common theme among many of the winemakers and winery owners was that they see themselves as custodians of the business and the soil — they are preserving the lineage of those who went before them and keeping it safe for the generations who will follow them. A very entertaining, inspiring, and delicious afternoon.