Inspired by the unpretentiousness and inclusivity of Italian gatherings, Australia’s first urban winery Noisy Ritual is unraveling the winemaking process for city dwellers. Oh and it’s providing great company, delicious wine and honest, simple food while it’s at it.
With a combination of decades of wine knowledge and events experience behind them, former schoolmates Cam Nicol, Alex Byrne and Sam Vogel have formed the crowd funded, inner-city winery that provides members with an opportunity to stomp, press and bottle their own wines.
Groups of up to 25 members get together over several Saturdays throughout the year to learn about, create and taste their wine. Afterwards they stick around to celebrate their new skills over drinks and home-cooked, rustic fare at the winery’s pop-up bar in Preston. Memberships also include a large celebration at the end of the year, when members will bottle and take home a half dozen of their personalised wines.
The concept for Noisy Ritual was formed after Cam, a multi-tasker with experience in the arts and event management, discovered an unknown tank in the basement of his house. Thankfully, Cam’s best mates, Alex and Sam were expert winemakers and Alex quickly identified the tank as a concrete wine fermenter.
The trio rallied a group of six mates to pitch in for a ute-full of Shiraz grapes from Geelong and commute them back to the basement where they experimented with their new find. Cam, a self-confessed newcomer to the wine scene looked after the Shiraz for the next six months. During this time he made it his mission to learn everything he could about the variety.
Cam’s perception of wine culture as exclusive and intimidating changed as he realised the simple joy of making wine with mates and sharing it over a good feed. As more and more friends became keen to be involved, the trio realised there was a gap in the Australian market for an unpretentious inner-city winery and decided to start Noisy Ritual. Their main aim: to recreate their experience for others in an urban setting.
According to Cam, once the 2015 vintage is finished the trio will focus their energy on finding a permanent space for the winery – probably somewhere in Brunswick. The new space will feature a bar, an old-school eclectic soundtrack and depending on capacity, will be available for weddings and other events as well as winemaking. If it’s as relaxed, noisy, inclusive and focused on quality as its owners, Noisy Ritual is sure to be a hit with Melbourne’s casual diners and could pave the way for urban wineries in Australia.
Memberships for the 2016 season are available for purchase via the website. Keep an eye on Smudge Eats for updates regarding when and where their bar is opening!
These membership-only events are held over several Saturdays throughout the year. On each occasion members learn about, create and taste their wine. Afterwards they stick around to celebrate their new skills over drinks and home-cooked, rustic fare at the winery’s pop-up bar in Preston.
Memberships costs also cover a large celebration at the end of the year, when members will bottle and take home a half dozen of their personalised wines.
Photography courtesy of Noisy Ritual.