Posted on | June 22, 2015
Written by | Sara Kay
Robert Hill-Smith, founder of Yalumba, knows this is no time for Australian vintners to be shy. As fourth chairman of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), he recently led 12 of his peers on the “AFFW UNLOCKED Tour de Force” of North America, designed to “lift the bar and perceptions about what Australian wine is all about.”
Stating outright that the tour was “a charm offensive,” Hill-Smith explained, “We’re here to seduce, have fun and have media, trade and consumers believing in the subtle quality of premium Australian wine.”
The tour certainly charmed social media users, as the AFFW hashtags on Twitter alone created over 6.8 million impressions and reached 626,000 users.
On tour were: Ross Brown, (Brown Brothers); Colin Campbell (Campbells, U.S. only); Chester Osborn (d’Arenberg); Darren De Bortoli (De Bortoli Wines); Stephen Henschke (Henschke); Jeff Burch (Howard Park, Canada only); Peter Barry (Jim Barry Wines); Scott McWilliam (McWilliam’s); Alister Purbrick (Tahbilk); Bruce Tyrrell (Tyrrell’s); Justin Taylor (Taylors) and Chairman Robert Hill-Smith (Yalumba).
Founded in 2009, the AFFW group came together to raise the profile and provenance of quality Australian wine, at home and around the world. Launching in the UK in 2010,Canada in 2011 and China in 2013, North America was the obvious focus for 2015.
This international activity has established AFFW as a strong voice for Australian wine, committed to driving the message about the quality, history, provenance and stories behind their leading brands, many of them household names.