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City wineries taking off in Sydney and Melbourne

A new crop of inner-city wineries offers visitors the chance to experience winemaking without leaving the city.

By Allie Metz

From traditional tastings and educational courses to the not-so-traditional yoga and wine classes, the only thing these irreverent venues take seriously is the quality of the wine. As harvest time approaches, it’s the perfect opportunity for a hands-on learning experience that will take you from grape to glass in a fun and memorable way. 

Urban Winery, Moore Park, Sydney

Long Table Lunch, Urban Winery, Sydney, New South Wales

A true pioneer of the trend, Urban Winery Sydney is the city’s only working winery. It's located in The Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park (just a short stroll from the Sydney Cricket Ground) and includes a fully functioning open winery. The team released its first wine wholly made in the winery in 2016– a Rosé, and haven't slowed down since. The winery also features a cellar door, tasting bar and event space. In addition to tastings, Urban Winery offers educational winery tours, blend-your-own-wine classes and even yoga. 

Noisy Ritual, East Brunswick, Melbourne

Press workshop, Noisy Ritual, Melbourne, Victoria

Roll up your sleeves for a visit to Noisy Ritual, located on Lygon Street in the heart of Melbourne. You’ll be encouraged to get your hands (and feet) dirty as you live the winemaker’s philosophy of learning through doing. The cellar door is open Friday to Sunday, but head there during harvest time (March) to experience the real excitement. You'll find hands-on tours, delicious food, live music and a chance to get involved in helping to make (and drink) the wine. Stomp grapes as you learn about winemaking directly from the winemaker or enjoy a guided tour of the facilities followed by a tasting of their full range of wines. 

Cake Wines, Redfern, Sydney

Cellar door, Cake Wines, Redfern, New South Wales

The Sydney suburb of Redfern is home to Cake Wines, an inner-city cellar door that brings wine appreciation to the masses. Pop in to taste their signature range of wines, as well as a few additional wines, craft beers and spirits selected by the team. Get involved with their School of Wine to learn more about wine growing, making and tasting with a relaxed, unpretentious approach. Cake Wines also hosts a regular calendar of great food and music events in their converted warehouse space.

Urban Winery Project, various locations

Urban Winery Project season 5, Gather & Tailor Warehouse, West Melbourne, Victoria

At harvest time (usually starting in late February), small batch Adelaide Hills winery Vinteloper goes on the road with a pop-up winemaking and fine dining experience to demystify the winemaking process while allowing people to take part in some of the fun. The Urban Winery Project began close to its roots, with the inaugural event in Adelaide. In later years Melbourne and Sydney played host. Head to their website to find out where it will be this year. If you're smart enough to grab a ticket, you can enjoy an evening of stomping grapes while you learn about winemaking before sitting down to delicious dinner paired with wines made at the previous year's event.

Handpicked Wines, Chippendale, Sydney

Tasting flight, Handpicked Wines, Chippendale, New South Wales

Nestled in one of Sydney’s hottest new neighbourhoods, Handpicked Wines is different to your average cellar door or wine bar. Here, the winemakers travel the best wine regions, including the Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley and Margaret River, in search of different grape varieties to produce wine under their own label. Pay a visit to the tasting bar for a flight of their latest releases, or try one of Handpicked Wines’ wine tasting and appreciation workshops and unique classes. Try Yoga and Wine for a one hour yoga session followed by a wine tasting, or create something beautiful with Zen Flower Arranging where you relax with cheese, wine and flowers.