QPAC's Art of Wine Dinner Series Hosts Torbreck's David Powell, July 24

QPAC's Art of Wine Dinner Series Hosts Torbreck's David Powell, July 24

You don't have to travel to the Barossa Valley to rub shoulders with a leading local winemaker and sample their award winning wines. You can just book into the next Art of Wine Dinner Series featuring Torbreck Wineson Tuesday 24 July at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

Guests will have the chance to meet Torbreck's Managing Director and Chief Winemaker David Powell, as he hosts this special dinner and shares his journey to become an award winning winemaker.

Torbreck Vintners has continued the tradition of producing world class wine from small quantities of dry grown vines from the North Western fringe of the Barossa Valley. The vines are hand-tended with care and all wines are made using manual methods and bottled with minimal fining or filtration, in order to provide a lasting and authentic expression of their work.

Experience these delicately crafted wines that deliver rich, intense flavours along with five delicious courses, especially created by QPAC Executive Chef Anthony Fullerton and Lyrebird Chef Jamie Pearce, to complement the Torbreck wines.

All bookings for the Torbreck Wines Art of Wine Dinner go in the draw to win two tickets to JERSEY BOYS - The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons at QPAC. Tickets will be drawn on the night.

Join us for live music, great company and perfectly matched flavours at the Lyrebird Restaurant. To book a place at the table at QPAC's Torbreck Art of Wine Dinner go to www.qpac.com.au/artofwine or phone 136 246.

Torbreck founder David Powell was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. His father was a chartered accountant and like it or not, Dave soon found himself on a similar career path. However, while immersed in the study of Economics at Adelaide University, an uncle introduced him to wine and young Dave realized that grapes could be more intriguing than numbers. He began spending more and more of his spare time in the Barossa Valley and during the winters, he availed himself of the opportunity to venture overseas to work harvests in both California and Italy. He travelled throughout the famous wine regions of Europe and even spent time in Scotland as a lumberjack. This experience was instrumental in illuminating the unique attributes of the Barossa, at a time when others felt this heritage was past its sell-by date.

Finding work at Rockford in the Barossa Valley, he became steeped in the traditional culture of the region and in the early 1990s the idea of owning his own winery began to take shape. David was saddened by the vinous devastation caused by the mid-1980s government sponsored 'Vine Pull' scheme but in working with Rockford's Robert O'Callaghan, he became convinced that a market existed for old vine wines influenced by the classic Rhône styles. Lacking deep pockets (but inspired nonetheless), he set about approaching local landowners concerning their neglected properties. Dave nurtured these old, lifeless and overgrown vineyards back to health in his spare time. Bringing this old practice of share farming back to the Barossa subsequently secured for him a regular supply of fruit from the best Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro vineyards, including a few hectares of what are thought to be among the oldest grapevines on the planet. In return for his "sweat equity", Powell's efforts were rewarded with a few parcels of dry grown fruit, and he turned these "wages" into the first bottles of Torbreck.

As these first vintages lay in barrel, Dave thought back to his experiences overseas and realized that the growers of the Barossa Valley had overlooked the suitability of the French white Rhône varieties. Seeking to rectify this oversight, the purchase of 30 acres of land in Marananga occurred in 1994 for the purpose of planting Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. Shiraz was included in the mix in what is now known as the Descendant Vineyard, also the site of the new Torbreck winery. Other acquisitions (included a one hundred year old vineyard that had been previously share farmed) soon followed, and Torbreck continues to follow the path of sourcing the best fruit possible from its own vineyards and those of selected growers in the region.

It can be said that the Torbreck portfolio offers the best of both worlds, old and new. David Powell is a passionate believer in the Barossa Valley and its viticultural heritage. His approach to grape growing and winemaking melds the region's terroir with its traditional winemaking practises. In so doing he has achieved a style that fuses his love for the Barossa with his admiration for the Northern and Southern Rhône valleys.

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