13 May 2023

A taste of culture as CSU mixes wine, art and ideas at the cellar door

| Chris Roe
Start the conversation
Man with wine

CSU winemaker Johnny Clark is fusing wine and culture at the cellar door. Photo: CSU.

Winemaker Johnny Clark is hoping to share something of “the romance of wine” through this year’s autumn ‘Salon Series’ at the CSU cellar door.

“Originally I was looking at ideas for wine appreciation courses at the university and then I thought, well, why don’t we pair particular wines with something else of interest,” he explained.

“So what we did last year with the first one, it was an evening with wine and art, another one with wine and poetry and then wine and music in September.”

READ ALSO The art’s back in Ardlethan celebrating local talent with a gala opening

Johnny says the idea of a ‘salon’ dates back to 17th century Paris where women would set aside a room in their house to invite intellectuals, artists and politicians to come and address a small gathering and to exchange ideas.

“I thought, let’s set up a room at the cellar door in the winery and pair wines with these different cultural areas,” he said.

“Booranga Writers’ Centre’s David Gilbey was first off the bat last year with poetry and we chose eight wines, and then we paired them with the eight pieces of poetry from those particular geographical regions that he recited.”

David Gilbey

Booranga Writers’ Centre’s David Gilbey will mix poems with wine. Photo: Chris Roe.

David Gilbey said that the first event was a unique experience and he’s looking forward to the second series.

“It’s a really entertaining evening because the winemaker gives tasting notes and describes the history of the wines and how it reflects the wine growing areas around the world and the way wines taste differently,” he said.

“And then with respect to the literature, art, cheese and music, the presenters actually entertain the troops with performances, readings, commentaries and so forth.

“So many cultural traditions celebrate the coming together of wine and literature so it’s a rich tradition that we’re buying into here in Wagga.”

READ ALSO Duck Duck Duck Goose makes its debut in the Wagga music scene

The autumn series kicks off on 25 May with David again leading the way with literature, followed the next month by art historian Dr Sam Bowker.

“This time with Sam we’re going to concentrate on the emotions that are evoked by the artists as they’re painting or by the paintings they’ve produced, so it won’t be so much a geographical origin wine to where the piece of art comes from, but more of an emotional expression that we’re looking for,” Johnny said.

“For instance, I was reading about Francisco Goya, a Spanish artist who went through a very dark and somber period towards the end of his career.

“So I’m looking for a dark brooding red wine that hopefully encapsulates some of the emotions that he might have been going through then.”

The series concludes in July with Coolamon cheesemaker Jen Nestor.

“She’s going to pick four of the cheeses she makes and pair them with different wines and then she’s going to actually choose four international cheeses from Knights Deli in Wagga and then we’ll pair them with wines that normally would go with those cheeses,” Johnny explained.

The first event kicks off at the cellar door on 25 May and you can find out more here.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.