Have you ever thought of getting to know the cool bars in Richmond? Josh Starick, owner/director conceptualised Neighbourhood Events Co and ran the Melbourne event with Dasha and Dave this Anzac Day weekend. The 11 fabulous pubs/cocktail bars and wine bars and eateries were strategically placed within a 2-3 km walk along Swan Street, with occasional walks down side streets. Prominent wine makers from around Victoria and one from South Australia were placed in each venue with either a table set-up on a roof-top, parking lot or in a corner of a venue. The hip crowd of Melbourne and beyond were there circulating, sipping, and tasting 2-3 wines in each venue.
How it works:
We selected to start our walk from the Richmond Club Hotel and registered at midday rather seamlessly and were given two branded plastic wine tumblers to be our companions on the walk. We were given a couple of coupons to obtain discount off packs of six if purchased… of course we did! We were also given a $20 coupon redeemable off food at your registration venue – so we had a bite on the rooftop of the hotel where Scott and Sarah representing Rob Dolan Wines were offering a delicious Black Label Blanc de Blanc which was very creamy and a light and delicious White Label Pinot Noir.
So with one venue down and 10 to go we decided to knock off the venues on our map in clusters. So next stop The Posty the set-up here was in the garden and Kirstin and winemaker Callie Jemmeson were on hand from Pacha Mama Wines. Their 2021 ‘Foraged’ Pinot, Syrah, Sangiovese was delicious, using grapes from the King Valley and Heathcote.
Next stop The Blacksmith Bar with Innocent Bystander, here we met Lee from Brown Brothers in the King Valley and I couldn’t help myself by using my discount voucher here to buy some NV Prosecco. Obtaining a cool wine bag as a promotional gift (must say I had a few jealous people on the walk who all wanted my bag and I even got offered money for it but I love my wine bag so decided to treasure it).
Round the Corner at Corner Hotel (close to The Posty) I talked with Anthony Fikkers, a winemaker who has been in business for three years which has been challenging at times. I tasted a lovely light Rising Bad Earth Rosé which was very drinkable, and this was set in a car park with a very funky vibe.
The Precinct Hotel was next, sat on the corner of Swan Street and Cremorne St, here I met the interesting Stuart Dudine, owner/winemaker of Alkimi Wines. He is in his eighth year of production and specialises in Rhone valley varieties. His 2019 Marsanne was simply smooth, and easy on the palate and I definitely need to look out for this in the future.
Sitting adjacent to The Precinct Hotel was its neighbour South of the Wall. This was a cute pub nestled in pastel colours and here I talked to Edwina and wine maker Ben Luker of Good Clean Fun Wines who has produced a magnificent 2021 Grenache (second purchase of the day and can’t wait for it to arrive). They are from the Grampians/Pyrenees and the cooler climate is obviously helping them produce great results.
Waygood was up next and we caught a tram up the road which made life a little easier to have a short rest in between walks. When in my running days with DH3 (Desert Hash House Harriers) a running club with a drinking problem they would have called me a short cutting B***st**d however needs must when you have only recently had a foot op and limping around a wine walk was starting to become painful – but the wine was certainly helping 🙂 At Waygood the effervescent Nigel Frawley from Footprint Wines and distributor of Smallfry wines was exceptionally knowledgeable and we delighted in learning about Smallfry’s Tangerine Dream Field blend and Stella Luna Cinsault Shiraz Mataro. These wines are all handcrafted small batch organic and biodynamic natural fermented wines from the Barossa Valley, South Australia, which made my hubby feel back at home. Note to self: must go back to Waygood as I loved the interior design and their menu looked interesting.
Still four bars to go and feeling confident we were going to make it by 4pm when the close off was to be. So many wines to taste and such little time – but we were keeping strong and off we / or rather I waddled to Maeve Fox on Church Street. Here we walked to the back of the pub to find Adam who represents Brown Brothers in Melbourne and we sampled more of the Prosecco – well I can’t help myself and the beautiful Pinot Grigio which was sensational. Note to self I must buy more….
Next stop Caddie back on Swan Street and up the stairs to meet Rob Hall, winemaker from the Yarra Valley who had a huge crowd at his table. I managed to try his 2021 Pinot Noir which was superbly made but I kept thinking how nice it must be to create a beautiful wine and have your name on the label and standing proud.
Now we are at the pointy end of the walk and down to the last two. Attria Wine Bar: first here we met the lovely Mark Matthews, winemaker from Gippsland and what a personable chap, he is passionate about his wines and has a few stories to tell about his wines. Sadly for my hubby the Gruner Veltliner 2021 as advertised was not on offer but we did manage to try a cheeky Pinot Noir.
Lastly after a quick dive into Glaushaus Florist for hubby to treat me to some gorgeous celebratory anniversary flowers we walked next door and caught last doors at Klae and met the besieged rep from Paringa Estate.
Klae was certainly a stop not to be missed from the fabulous 2021 Pinot Gris to the wonderful food coming out of the kitchen.
Paddy the owner and Jake the venue manager are a winning team with superb cocktail bar people and an interesting menu. I highly recommend the Soft shell crab baos and the Brisket rotis are out of this world. Their dinner menu includes wonderful deserts with crispy pillows of roti with salted caramel ice-cream which is a must. We will definitely return.