10 years in the making…


We are about to host our first (Inaugural) Vintage Ball.

It’s a sold out event – here are the deets: charlierobinson.wordpress.com/unearthing-wine/inaugural-vintage-ball/

The reason for the Vintage Ball? The Unearthing Wine group is turning 10 years old – and we wish to ‘have a ball’ and celebrate!

We have been unearthing old wine and unique wine experiences since 2007. What a journey! With members worldwide, we believe we found a winning formula and thank those who have supported us during our journey.

Yet we are not content to sit back and rest on our wine corks.

The concept for the Wine Group started on the eve of a dinner party hosted by Charlie-Helen Robinson (me), where a Penfolds Grange was to be star; the challenge had been set to find a wine that could match such a pedigree, to fill the remainder of the night’s drinking.

Out of this concept came an event dedicated to brave wine tasting – to boldly drink what should have already been boldly drunk! To bring those bottles that would normally be returned to the bottom of the wine racks, to an event and open them.

The first event was hosted at my home.

30 bottles starred in what was a very successful look at wines from multiple Australian regions, as well as across many decades of wine growing. The oldest on the day was from the 1970’s however the stand out performer was a bottle from the 1980’s. It was a clean skin, labelled by the Western Australian Government of the time, produced (most likely) as a corporate gift. It was a stunner.

The rest, they say, is history.

Or rather, ‘history in the making’.

We’ve since shared the highs and lows of wines from as early as the 1940’s – we’ve always asked they be older than 10 years when sharing and we’ve certainly unearthed a few goodies. The original event format where we shared these wines – called a Wake, was an evening of sensory highs and lows, and animated conversation where you will hear such inspired turns of phrase such as:

Gnarly ancient Barossa vines produce treasures! Crawford

What is wine? Pleasure, pure pleasure! Gianluca

Makes boring people interesting beyond belief. Jeff

We remain far from boring.

It’s true, it was an initial desire to teach myself social media. I have done this in spades and then written a book about the whole experience; I have taught myself everything from Facebook pages and groups, to Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogging, to online TV broadcasting, Pinterest, YouTube and everything in between.

On the social side, the need to generate content for these platforms, the social group has grown to 450 members (here in Adelaide, South Australia) providing much fodder. Some members now attend a local quiz night each week (giving us the ability to try our Prizma for example), some go to wine tasting events together – usually meeting up after a shout out in the Facebook group and some continue to be leaders in crafting new event formats.

Such as our “pub crawl” style event with a twist! Crafted and inspired by winelover leader, Martin Fry. This event attracts up to 40 people each event, walking the streets of Adelaide.

When you consider how many wine bars have popped up in recent years, we figure it’s going to take a while to “finish the walk”. Why? Well, we only select two to three new wine bars within close proximity from each other for each event. We start at one, spend an hour or so and then move onto the next. We encourage everyone to be creative and devilish in their wine choices, to discuss the wine they have selected with others in the group and to post pictures and share their comments via the event wall. We use the hashtag #winelover or #tastywinewalk.

Then there is the new style “Wine in a Bag” which was crafted and inspired by our winelover friend Glen Urbani, who also now wants to run a wine Olympics, fitness style,… and our newest – the #winestagram event, crafted and inspired by Des Bylund. It’s simple, we go out photographing with Instagram, which in turn benefits us all, as high quality creative images will come out of future events.

The ideas don’t stop.

And neither does the support.

We’ve previously had four bloggers (one based in New York), and we now boast six Facebook admins… who help with day to day administration.

The love for the group only continues to grow, and we are proud to be continuing the journey.

The Vintage Ball is being supported by the Adelaide Vinnies team and we are raising money for mental health in the process.

With our true #winelover generous style, we will again be donating to the Chat ‘n’ Chew program, managed by Uniting Care Wesley, Port Adelaide.

To date, we have donated approximately $450.

Chat ‘n’ Chew provides an opportunity for more than 700 people each year to enjoy some independence, make friends and feel connected with others in our local community. One in five Australians will suffer from a mental illness in any given year.

Good mental health is a sense of wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

It makes me proud to grow and develop such a group of generous wine lovers, always willing to give back, support and encourage others to enjoy life as much as they do. Even through the tough times, which we all have on occasion. The mental health support recognises this positivity and frame of mind isn’t always possible for everyone.

This night will be a ball.
An inaugural ball at the community hall
with silent auctions,
dancing, music, competitions, DJ, and song.

-Charlie

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