Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show

Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show

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From $16.91

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Various Venues


Mildura, VIC 3500


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Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

The Australian Alternative Varieties Show week in Mildura each November includes a suite of four ticketed, public events over three days.

About this event

The 2022 AAVWS is celebrating 21 years and runs from Thursday 3rd November to Saturday 5th November.  See below for individual event details.


To celebrate our 21st Birthday the AAVWS is teaming up with Award-winning wine writer Max Allen and independent publisher Melbourne Books to publish an exciting new book, Alternative Reality, that charts the course of Australia’s alternative variety wine scene over the last two decades through the lens of the stories, people and wines of the AAVWS.

Australian wine has been through a revolution over the last two decades years. New grape varieties, new wine styles, new winemaking personalities and cultures have emerged, dramatically changing how this country thinks about and enjoys wine. And much of this change can be traced to a wine competition in Mildura, in the remote northwest of Victoria.

Since 2001, the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show has examined and championed exciting new non-mainstream grapes (anything but chardonnay and shiraz …), with a roll-call of leading winemakers, sommeliers, writers and viticulturists travelling from all over the country each November to talk and taste, to swap ideas, to imagine a different wine landscape.

This book tells the story of those last two decades, not just of the show, but also of the wider world of Australian wine, told through interviews with the key people who made it happen. It also includes comprehensive information about the 150 different grape varieties currently grown in Australia: what the wines made from these grapes taste like, and who the best producers are.

If you want to deepen your understanding of why the Australian wine scene is the way it is today, and to get more enjoyment out of a wider range of delicious wines, then this book is for you.

Pre sale on now. Offical release July 2023.

Further information can be viewed on our website here


Date | Thursday 3rd November Venue | Stefano's Cafe, 27 Deakin Avenue Mildura Time | 7.00pm Cost | $130pp Three Courses + Matching Wines

Bookings Essential

This year our feature dinner will showcase some of the top scoring wines and the highlight the contenders for the new AAVWS Trophy; ‘Best of the Rest’ at the 2021 show. These will be some of the most exciting, unique and rare wines and varieties Australia currently has to offer. During the course of the night guests will enjoy a tailored menu paired with Mildura’s great spring weather and renowned hospitality.

The ‘Weird & Wonderful’ dinner includes high profile guests; AAVWS Chief of Judges Sophie Otton, the 2022 Judges and AAVWS Special Guests, including the recipient of 2022 AAVWS Fellowship. Also being 20 years since the inception of the AAVWS, this celebratory year will have additional legendary guests from the greater Australian Wine industry and VIP’s from the shows long history.


Date | Friday 4th November Venue | Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, Ballroom, Upstairs, Corner Langtree Avenue and Seventh Street, Mildura Time | 1.00pm – 5.00pm Cost | $120pp

Bookings Essential

The 2022 Talk & Taste will be full of celebration and reflection of the alternative variety movement in Australia over the last 20 years.

Session One | Coming Of Age

Hosted by Max Allen

Referencing a collection of former trophy wines, Max will check in on how they’re travelling to help illustrate the story of the past, present and future of the AAVWS. In his inimitable style he will touch on the people who shaped our journey and the evolution of the show since his time at the helm. Along the way he will bring in some key guests to ask the big questions. Is the AAVWS still relevant? What is ‘alternative’ and should we still segregate it? Mildura? Why it’s been important to the success of the show?

Max will reflect on 20 years of the AAVWS from the perspective of, a former Chief of Judges (2005 – 2011) and being a guest judge in 2002 and in our 21st show in 2022.

Session Two | In The Grü-ve

Hosted by Jane Faulkner

Jane will facilitate a deep dive into Grüner Veltliner’s journey in Australia drawing on her experience as a great lover of the varietal, a former Chief of Judges (2012 – 2018) and being a guest judge in 2005, 2007, 2009 – 2011.

Looking at award winning wines and a coupe of benchmarks from its homeland, Jane will question how Grüner Veltliner is going in Australia viticulturally, vinously and with the consumers. Backed up by a rockstar panel featuring Dave Carpenter from Lark Hill who made Australia’s first Gruener wine and Larry Jacobs from Hahndorf Hill the unofficial King of Gruner in Australia and winner of the 2020 AAVWS Best wine of Show and a few other special guests

Session Three | At The Table

Hosted by Sophie Otton

Sophie, current Chief of Judges (since 2019) and Guest judge in 2005 and 2018, will gather an expert panel to look at wine list changes in the two decades since the first AAVWS.

Featuring some of Australia’s most revered restaurateurs and sommeliers including co-founder Stefano de Pieri, Melissa Moore from the Merivale Group and some surprise guests the panel will look at the evolution of dining and wine lists and how alternative variety wines have played a part in that. You never know, you might even end up with a tasty morsel on your plate alongside your glass of wine to accompany this chat.



Date | Saturday 5th November Venue | Mildura Function Centre, entry in Twelfth Street between San Mateo and Etiwanda Ave’s Time | 8.30am – 10.30am Cost | Free to 2022 Exhibitors.  $15pp to general public.  Tickets also available at the door.

This event provides industry professionals and exhibitors the opportunity to taste every single entry in the AAVWS as a way of benchmarking the scene across Australia and New Zealand.  We like to think it’s the most exciting and diverse array of innovative and distinctive wines from the new world in one place, at one time, anywhere in the world.



Date | Saturday 5th November Venue | Willow & Ivie, 256 Irymple Ave, Nichols Point Time | 12.30pm Arrival for 1pm – 5pm Cost | $170pp including canapés, five courses & matching 2021 Gold Medal winning wines

Bookings Essential

The legendary AAVWS Awards Long Lunch is the event that steals the show. Last year was the first time in 20 years that this legendary event didn’t happen, and while we got to see some of you online, we missed seeing all of your smiling faces in Mildura.

We plan to make a come back!

The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show legendary Awards Long Lunch is gearing up to be another delicious and unforgettable event this year. Join us at Willow and Ivie surrounded by vineyards and set amidst acres of gardens overlooking an ornamental lake. During the awards you’ll savour a five-course long lunch, passionately prepared by talented local chef Matt Morris, matched with exciting award-winning alternative variety wines from the 2020 AAVWS.

Situated 5kms from the CBD, you can get yourself to Willow & Ivie, or grab a seat on the bus departing from the Quality Mildura Grand Hotel around high noon.

Join us for what is sure to be a truly treasured, memorable long lunch as we celebrate 21 years of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

*Please note the AAVWS Awards Long Lunch event sells out very quickly, to avoid disappointment book ASAP.


Date | Saturday 5th November Pick up| The Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, Corner Langtree Avenue and Seventh Street, Mildura Time | 12pm Cost | $25pp to and from lunch.

Bookings Essential


If we sail into the finishing line without any hiccoughs, rest assured we will have a comprehensive COVID-19 Risk Management Plan to ensure your safety and adherence to all mandatory and sensible safety policies and procedures.

Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show image

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