Home' micenet eMag : micenet June 2017 Contents BAROSSA
f you’re heading out to the regions, the focus for meeting planners looking to hold an event in
Adelaide after meetings are over in the city can include satellite sessions, off-site dinners, special
events, partner programs and post-event touring for delegates.
With a number of medical/scientific meeting planners amongst us, it became apparent that
they valued the proximity to Adelaide’s new medical and scientific precinct, access to experts,
the availability of local delegates and opportunities for site inspections. However, they also
recognised the beauty of the Barossa and its dedication to producing some of the country’s
finest food and wine.
Take the opportunity to visit the Wolf Blass Cellar for example. Our host was the brand
ambassador, Simon Blacket, who explained the history of the company and the man, Wolf Blass,
even including that in order to gain some free promotion, Mr Blass would often go to Adelaide
airport and have himself paged, then loudly announce, “Yes, I am Wolf Blass, I am here”.
It must have worked because the company still bears his name even though he sold out his
interest a few years ago.
Simon Blacket explained how the winemakers operated today, particularly how they make
their premium award-winning Black Label red wine, where the best wines from their Barossa
and Limestone Coast vineyards are separately aged in barrels and only blended at the end to
become the $100 a bottle Black Label. Eyes lit up when he announced we were going to try
and blend this wine using the exact same ingredients drawn from their four barrels that morning.
Here was a great incentive idea some thought; others reckoned it would be an entertaining
exercise for small groups at the end of the day before a Barossa degustation; still others reckoned
the chance to drink the top shelf was sufficient reason to forge ahead.
We were greeted with half a glass of Black Label, four glasses of red wine to blend (a Barossa
cabernet, a Limestone Coast cabernet, a shiraz and a malbec), a measuring beaker and a
spittoon. We had to come up with the “recipe” to the nearest five per cent. A few tips from
Simon and we set about tasting in pairs... your correspondent did well to get within five per
cent, but another group member got it 100 per cent correct. Everyone was engaged in the
exercise and thoroughly enjoyed it – but I did notice nobody used the spittoon.
Our accommodation was the four-star Novotel Barossa Valley Resort set on a sprawling acreage
with 14 meeting rooms catering for between six and 180 (banquet) or 250 cocktail and plenty of
will be cheese, meat, some amazing scenery and
of course the wilderness.
“So the secret to our business is to not only
showcase the other things to do away from
business events but when you bring people in
on the ground they see what an amazing
convention centre and what amazing social
venues we’ve got.
“And in the regional areas as well...
everything is so convenient and easy so that’s
what it is all about... the way we package it
together. With regional development and
particularly with the city development we’re
changing the perception,” Mr Kitto said during
the bureau’s annual showcase event,
Destination SA, which micenet has attended
The reception for Destination SA is held in
the Botanic Gardens, a 50 hectare oasis in the
city, demonstrating Adelaide’s capacity to stage
events in a variety of spaces.
We have two short speeches courtesy of Mr
Kitto and SA Tourism Commission CEO,
Rodney Harrex, then get back to food and wine
Destination SA also showcases some of
Adelaide’s food talent as we join MasterChef
contestant, Callum Hann at his cooking school
Sprout in the inner city. In a show kitchen he
demonstrates how to cook the dish we’re about
to eat, then rushes into the kitchen to oversee its
completion and delivery, while guest speaker,
Jamie Sach, the Penfolds brand ambassador,
explains a little of the history of the famous local
Among Jamie’s more interesting tales, he
describes how the original winemaker for
Penfolds Grange, Max Schubert, was instructed
by the Board at Penfolds to stop making the
famous Grange in the 1950s, but he defied
them and continued to make three vintages
behind closed doors at the Magill winery near
Adelaide. Eventually the Board realised how
good the wine was and Max was a hero when
he miraculously produced the vintages.
And having showcased his city to business
event buyers and a small media contingent, Mr
Kitto sends us into South Australia’s regions to
learn what they have to offer the business
tourist. This year micenet went to the Barossa.
Others headed in mini buses to the Adelaide
Hills or McLaren Vale. m
St Hugo’s magnificent
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