Gourmet Traveller Wine presents

Wine Masterclasses

Proudly presented by Gourmet Traveller WINE, our Italian wine masterclasses will be hosted by renowned wine journalist Huon Hooke. Curated by Sommeliers with both professionals and amateurs in mind, each masterclass is an hour long and features 10 exceptional wines. A panel of industry experts (winemakers, sommeliers, importers, educators) will be on hand to shed light on the varieties, regions and personalities behind what’s in your glass.

$50 per person (festival entry not included)


Grandi Vini All Day Masterclass Pass

For the ultimate Italian wine lover or industry professional. Includes entry to all wine masterclasses and all day festival entry. Value over $300

$175 per person (pre purchase only)


South Tyrol, or Alto Adige, on Italy’s northern border, was part of the Austrian Empire  until 1919; and still displays a strong Germanic character. Vineyards are located on spectacular sites up to 1000m along the Isarco and Adige rivers, which flow from the Alps to meet just south of Bolzano. White wine accounts for 60% of production in the region; the main varietals being Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay. In terms of red wine the most important native varietal is Lagrein; although the Alto Adige is also recognized for releasing Italy’s greatest Pinot Noirs. This Masterclass will showcase the rich diversity of the region, and you will taste some of the best examples currently available.

Panelists:  Piero Tantini (Importer-Godot Wines), Laura De Giacomo (Importer-Deliciarum), Matt Dunne (Group Sommelier – Solotel)

Wineries: Nals Magreid, Elena Walch, Alois Lageder, Peter Zemmer, St. Paul, Tolloy, Kettmeir, Loacker, Kupelwiser, Arunda


Each year Italy’s most important wine guide, ‘Italian Wine’, from Gambero Rosso awards a maximum 3 glasses (Tre Bicchieri) for its top ranked wines. In 2017, out of 45,000 wines tasted, only 429 wines reached this exalted level. Covering the 30 years that the guide has been released the publication also awards a Star to a winery that has received 10 Tre Bicchieri awards. Currently the leading winery, with 5 Stars (54 Tre Bicchieri) is Gaja from Piedmont. In this masterclass we will taste 10 exceptional wines from 10 extraordinary producers.

Panelists: Nino Zoccali (Owner/Chef – Pendolino and La Rosa The Strand) Matt Irwin (Importer-Trembath & Taylor), Stefano Manfredi (Australian Icon Italian Chef)

Wineries: Jermann, Pieropan, Fontodi, Allegrini, Barone Ricasoli, Isole e Olena, Masciarelli, Michele Chiarlo, Les Cretes, Sella & Mosca


It is impossible to talk about Barbaresco without mentioning its more well-known neighbor, Barolo; which often causes Barbaresco to be unfairly relegated to a ‘bridesmaid’ role. Like Barolo, Barbaresco must be made from 100% Nebbiolo, and aged for a specific length of time before release. Traditionally regarded as the more ‘feminine’ style, today stylistic differences are less evident, due to greater winemaker influence. In this masterclass we will look at some of the sub-zone characteristics within the appellation, as well as icon producers featuring Gaja, who virtually single-handedly brought the profile of Barbaresco to the wine world.

Panelists:  Matt Paul (Importer-Trembath & Taylor), Gary Walsh (Journalist-Wine Front), Giorgio de Maria (Sommelier/Importer-GDM Fun Wines)

Wineries: Produttori del Barbaresco, Ca Rome, Bruno Rocca, Pruneto, Colla Roncaglie, Rogana, Dante Rivetti, Pelissero, Marchesi di Barolo, Punset


Sangiovese is still Italy’s most planted grape varietal, and by a considerable margin. Central Italy is the varietals true home, with Tuscany the jewel in the crown in terms of overall quality. Here Sangiovese has done much to popularize Italian wine around the world, via both the recognized appellations of Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino; and the ‘Super Tuscan’ phenomenon. Other important Sangiovese zones in Italy are Sangiovese di Romagna in Emilia Romagna, and Rosso Piceno Superiore in the Marche. In this masterclass we will taste a selection from the above zones, as well as one or two more unusual styles.

Panelists:  Sally McGill (Importer-Red & White), Rodney Setter (Sommelier – Sepia), Ian Cook (Owner Five Way Cellars)

Wineries: Isole e Olena, Barone Ricasoli, Cantina Di Montalcino, Sensi, Querceto Di Castellina, Valdipiatta, Noella Ricci, Le Coste, Bibbiano, Podere Le Ripi