I grew up on a vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, so having wineries and cellar doors around me was the norm. Now I live in Sydney, and getting to a winery takes a bit of planning and takes up an entire weekend.
That was until I found out one of my favourite wine labels had opened up a cellar door in the heart of Sydney late last year. Handpicked Wines have vineyards all across the world, from Mornington, Margaret River, Tasmania, the Yarra and Barossa valleys, Central Otago and all the way across to France, Italy and Spain. With their vineyards scattered across the globe, they pushed away from the traditional cellar door approach and opened up one spectacular cellar door within a warehouse space along Kensington Street in Chippendale.
I absolutely love the concept. It’s exactly what Sydney needs. Not only are they a cellar door that you can come in for a tasting with a sommelier before dinner along Kensington Street. They’re a retail shop to purchase a bottle to BYO and take to Spice Alley. They also run events throughout the month, from wine master classes to wine yoga (I still need to try this!). You can also book out the experience room for group tastings and intimate events. Or simply sit back and relax with a bottle of your favourite wine whilst ordering an antipasto platter of your favourite cheeses from Ocello in Surry Hills.
Handpicked Wines was born with the desire to bring wines from all over the world into one label, from here they have broken down the wine into three levels of quality – everyday to premium. Then they’ve thoughtfully and creatively developed labels, which show exactly this, with each label representing the quality of grape, region and the variety within each bottle. My particular favourite designs are premium bottles from single vineyards, each bottle is designed to represent the region – a Shiraz from the Barossa Valley is a full bodied bold red so they’ve used a pile of red dirt to showcase this.
After being taken a through a wine tasting with a sommelier, we sat down to relax with my favourite red – a 2012 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley from their collection range. Paired with a selection cheeses and meats from Ocello (Make sure you order the truffle cheese – it’s mouth watering).
Photographer |Wesley Tan