Situated in the heart of Adelaide’s East End district, East End Cellars has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s leading independent bottle shops. Now there’s even more reason to drop in, since the cellar has expanded to include The Tasting Room, a wine bar with a rotating menu of boutique wines and light, seasonal dishes.
Michael Andrewartha, a wine fanatic with a unique appreciation of the wine retail industry, established East End Cellars in 1997. Michael’s career in the wine industry began 36 years ago. He was helping his father load wine trucks for Orlando Wines in the Barossa Valley, and eventually landed a job working for the winery. He soon fell in love with the big, bold reds of the region.
After working for Orlando Wines for two years, Michael moved back to the city and worked at a number of bottle shops, before being made co-manager at Baily & Baily St Georges. Later, he helped design and build Edinburgh Cellars, which he managed for five years before deciding he needed to work for himself. He took a year off to search for a location, and eventually fell in love with Adelaide’s East End.
East End Cellars started out with just four staff members; now there are 19. Being an independent retailer, wholesaler, importer and producer has given Michael the luxury of selling only wines that he and his team love. Customers can expect a wide range of quality wines at different price points, ranging from an award winning shiraz at $10 a bottle, to a $300 French burgundy.
In 2014, Michael purchased the property next door, and on the new site East End Cellars was expanded to include a small bar called The Tasting Room. The venue provides a place for people to come and taste a rotating menu of local, seasonal produce and local and international wines. Each week, Michael and his team curate a tight edit of wines from a featured region, which you can order by the glass or on a tasting flight.
The food menu focuses on local produce, and is designed to match the wine. A range of locally cured, smoked and air-dried meats and cheeses are sourced from local producers. The staff will assemble these for you on a small, medium or large ploughman’s platter, with freshly baked bread from Market Street Bakery and assorted pickles and chutney. There are also toasted sandwiches, with fancy combinations like marinated mushroom or smoked pork, melted with scamorza and served with Beerenburg tomato chutney. The single plates are light and comforting, with options like homemade chicken soup with crusty bread, or duck rillettes with cornichons and toast.
The wine shop’s brick exterior serves as a lovely backdrop for lunch on a summer’s day, and the dark timber and endless shelves of wine make for a cozy afternoon at the bar in the cooler months.
East End Cellars offers structured tastings for groups, and is available for function hire. In addition, the cellar hosts various events throughout the year, including masterclasses and tastings.