Oddio, Bowden, South Australia © @josiewithers / @oddiobowden
Australia's coolest urban wineries and farms
Where to enjoy a slice of rural life in some of Australia’s biggest cities.
By Natasha Dragun
From high-rise rooftop vegetable patches to abandoned warehouses rebirthed as wine storage facilities, urban spaces are springing to life – and supplying the freshest produce to your restaurant table in the process. Here are some trendsetting inner-city farms and wineries to check out in Australia’s cities.
Where: 249 Lygon St, Brunswick East
Noisy Ritual, Melbourne’s first urban winery, was born after two friends found a grape fermenting machine. Today, they source fruit from across the state of Victoria, transforming it on-site into everything from sparkling chardonnay to pinot noir and shiraz. Thursday through Sunday, visitors sip the range, paired with snacks or set-course meals, with a side of live music – this is noisy, after all.
QT Melbourne Secret Garden
Where: 133 Russell St, Melbourne
The QT Melbourne Secret Garden began as a rooftop space for chefs at design-driven QT hotel to be self-sustainable, growing herbs and vegetables for guest meals. It’s still this, but has also evolved into a hidden bar, Thursday through Saturday evenings. The leafy retreat with skyline views partners with local distillers, Four Pillars Gin, on a standout cocktail menu. Or, pick your own herbs and have bartenders mix bespoke concoctions.
Yerrabingin Rooftop Garden
Where: 2 Davy Rd, Eveleigh
Australia’s first urban garden dedicated to native produce, Yerrabingin Rooftop Garden crowns a Sydney office building in the inner-west suburb of Eveleigh, its team of Aboriginal horticulturalists overseeing 2,000 native plants – everything from finger limes (a zingy, elongated variant) to warrigal greens (a type of spinach). Visitors are welcome any time, but the best way to experience the country’s distinct edible and medicinal botanicals is on a weekly tour.
Handpicked Wines also makes wine in central Sydney, with tastings in the cellar door and a cheese shop on-site.
Where: Building 121, Bent Street The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
Sydney's Urban Winery is like New South Wales in a tasty mouthful. Wines are handcrafted on-site under the house A.Retief label, using grapes sourced from the state’s top growing regions. Visit the cellar door to sample a biodynamic shiraz or an experimental natural chardonnay, or even cocktails made using local spirits, paired with regional cheeses and charcuterie from the food menu.
Perth City Farm
Where: 1 City Farm Pl, East Perth
Established in 1994, pioneering Perth City Farm has transformed into a community hub hosting organic permaculture and culinary workshops, garden tours, and a Saturday market for both its own fruit, vegetables and herbs, as well as those from regional ethical purveyors. An on-site café offers whatever’s in-season – while you wait for your meal, explore the grounds and meet resident ducks, chickens and bees.
Where: 31 Drayton St, Bowden
If Oddio’s setting isn’t dramatic enough – a heritage-listed church in the inner-city Adelaide suburb of Bowden – wait until you try the wines. Its three labels (Delinquente Wine Co., Frederick Stevenson and Giovanni Armani Giorgio) utilise grapes from some of the country’s top vineyards surrounding the South Australian capital. During vintage, guests glimpse what goes into producing an experimental pétillant naturel (pét-nat or natural sparkling wine), among other styles. Check out Instagram to find out when Oddio is open for wine and beer tastings, paired with crispy pizzas.
Wagtail Urban Farm
Where: 2C Thirza Ave, Mitchell Park
Wagtail Urban Farm calls itself a “microscale market garden”. The tiny space just a 20-minute drive south of Adelaide city centre focuses on growing and supplying organic, seasonal produce – rhubarb, salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, edible flowers – to local farmers markets, but also hosts tours on demand, with tips on getting your own garden started on home soil.
Where: 11 Wandoo St, Fortitude Valley
Among Brisbane’s hottest food-and-wine precincts, Fortitude Valley is home to City Winery’s base in a converted warehouse. Small-batch vintages – grenache, sauvignon blanc, petit verdot, shiraz – are made on-premises using grapes from across the country. Learn about the process through winery tours and blending workshops, or simply enjoy the spoils at chef-led food-and-wine degustation dinners. Pop in to the cellar door for tastes and take-aways.
Glaetzer-Dixon Urban Winery
In addition to cool-climate wines, Tasmania is known for its whisky, with some of Australia’s best distilleries calling the island state home.
Where: 93 Brooker Ave, Glebe
Tasmania is known for its standout cool-climate wines, like pinot noir and shiraz. At Glaetzer-Dixon Urban Winery in Hobart, the first of its kind in the state, you can try both. A former ice factory, today’s tasting room is open to walk-in visitors on weekends and bookings on weekdays. Winemaker Nick Glaetzer sources fruit from a dozen local growers, and talks you through production processes while you sip his award-winning vintages in the property’s eye-catching cellar door.