Introducing our Baptism of Fire:

4 March 2013

Harvest. Crush. Stomp. Ferment. Wait. Bottle. Reckon you can take grapes from vine, through the magic of fermentation, and all the way to glass? Step up to the front line with your own vinous sensei and show us what you’ve got!

Baptism of Fire is a competition to produce a wine with finalists who have never professionally produced a wine before. It’s a competition without being competitive; a ‘conversation’ between mentor and enthusiast that gives total creative control and hands-on winemaking responsibilities to a squadron of finalists who will be driven by gut instincts and visceral intent.

The finalists will nurture grapes from the iconic Mount Langi Ghiran vineyard, home to some of Australia’s finest shiraz fruit. They’ll work hand-in-wine-stained-hand with some of Australia’s top winemakers. A pop-up winery in the city will be home to the fledgling wines. The inspiration and perspiration is up to the finalists. Soulful and gratifying, electrocuted with creativity.

While the Baptism of Fire finalists are being sized up, the line of winemakers blowing life into this project include Gilles Lapalus (Sutton Grange Wines & Maidenii Vermouth), Mac Forbes (Mac Forbes), Michael Glover (Bannockburn), William Downie (William Downie), Matt Harrop (Shadowfax), Sandro Mosele (Kooyong & Port Phillip Estate), and Steve Webber (De Bortoli). A smorgasboard of talent, technical know-how and creative latitude set to guide the Baptism of Fire apprentices on their path to bottled wine.

The protégés will source fruit from the 2013 harvest, guide the wines through their winemaking vision, check in on the ferments, hang out with some of Victoria’s most cutting edge winemaking clan and bring a whole new conversation about the currency of wine to a broad, connected community. March harvest to October bottling in 2013 and then a public vote to gauge the pleasure of each wine – a journey that rewards with discovery; a true Baptism of Fire. Stay tuned.


2013, The competition


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