I was in Dublin recently for the Vines in the City event that was launched by Australian winery McGuigan Wines. The whole idea behind Vines in the City is to bring consumers closer to the vines, to literally show them what a working vineyard looks, feels and even tastes like!
I had the chance to ask Chief Winemaker, Neil McGuigan a bit about the event and why they had chosen Dublin. Turns out McGuigan have done this event in other European cities, including London, and he sees it as a way to engage consumers in the whole production of wine. Getting to look at the vines, the grapes and even the soil used, literally shows where wine comes from.
The vines used for the event were sadly not from Australia as Neil explained, “They would be in quarantine for years…” but rather had been brought from France. McGuigan had source vines that were up to 80 years old, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. It was great to walk around the vines, hear what consumers had to say (they all thought it was a fantastic opportunity) and drink McGuigan wines. Although there were signs throughout telling people they could touch the vines and even eat the ripe berries, there were not many takers. I, of course, had to try the grapes and they were very good indeed, perfect wine making grapes with good levels of sugar and high acidity – yum!
The event was a chance for McGuigan Wines to thank Ireland for making them the number 2 global brand in the country and also to launch a number of new wines onto not only the Irish market but also the UK market. It was also the launching pad for their latest white wine, The Semillon Blanc 2011. McGuigan has been making Semillon wine for quite some time but most of it is made to age, with The Semillon Blanc 2011, they are introducing a refreshing, crisp and aromatic wine (that’s what it says on the label). Well, I have to agree with that assessment. I quite enjoyed it, full of tropical flavours with a nice crisp citrus finish.
The Semillon Blanc is now available from Majestic Wines, RRP £5.99