Clear your palate, because twenty of Australia’s best names in vino are coming to Canberra to serve up tastings of 60 award-winning wines.

The annual Cellarmasters’ Canberra Meet the Makers wine tasting event is taking place at QT on Friday 18 May, and wine lovers can sample up to 60 prized wines and meet their makers.

Celebrity chef Stefano de Pieri of Mildura Grand Hotel fame will be serving wines from his namesake trophy-winning alternative varieties range, which includes a Nero d’Avola, Fiano and Shiraz Sangiovese.

In 2001, Stefano co-founded the first Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura. Only 27 wines were submitted in 2001, and in 2017, more than 800 wines competed for the coveted wine awards – a testament to the increase in popularity of alternative varieties.

Stefano jokingly said he’s more than happy to help Canberrans pronounce the more unusual wine varieties.

“Italian varieties have become popular because wine drinkers are looking for diversity, and there is a high demand for textural whites and light-bodied reds, which happens to be a fitting description for many Italian varieties,” Stefano said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Canberra customers and getting their feedback on my wine range.”

Some of the wine makers at the Canberra Meet the Makers event include: Nick Badrice from Krondorf, Barossa Valley; Ian and Wendy Roberts from Riversdale Estate, Tasmania; and Gwyn Olsen from BriarRidge and Pepper Tree Wines, Hunter Valley.

Cellarmasters cellar director Christine Rickets said the event is a unique chance to taste wines you might never have tried before.

“Who knows, you might even find a couple of new favourites,” she said.

Cellarmasters Meet the Makers is at QT Canberra on Friday 18 May.