From now on, every Friday morning is dedicated to all things healthy. (Because as we all know, drinking wine is good for you. Studies say!) Regardless, after an hour-long session of yoga, you deserve a sip or two of vino.
At the launch on 20th January, the Handpicked Wines team welcomed us to their urban cellar door. Located on the oh-so-cute Kensington Street in Chippendale — just past recently-opened restaurant Holy Duck! — this months-old space in the former Carlton Brewery is worth a visit even without the lure of Yoga and Wine.
The yoga classes are led by Vanessa from Vinyasa in the Vines. The intimate class (just 12 people) is held in a room that also houses chrome tanks for storing wine. As we got our downward dog on, Vanessa guided us through an 60-minute class that saw me pleasantly sore the following day. Her teaching style mixes in a little bit of different types of yoga — plus lots of humour, and making sure all the attendees got to know one another. It was a lovely mixture of just enough exertion without pushing things too far. The hour with Vinyasa in the Vines flew by.
But there was wine to taste! The Handpicked Wines team set up beautiful glassware on a high bench for our tasting (with plenty of water to rehydrate after yoga). A sommelier led us through six different types of wine, showcasing some of the far-flung regions Handpicked Wines develops their wine in.
Their two winemakers work with 21 different regions throughout the world — in five countries — to develop wines for the Handpicked Wines range. Lucky us: Sydneysiders can buy it all at their urban cellar door.
Starting with an Itailan Prosecco (perfect for summer), we headed to Marlborough for a young 2016 Sauvignon Blanc with a beautiful finish. Their Rosé, from the Yarra Valley, is on the drier side, but still holds notes of strawberry. Dipping into the reds, we tried a 2015 Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula that spent 11 months in wood barrels. This wowed some of the other yoga attendees, who previously went for bold Shirazes. ‘It literally tastes like sitting next to a fire’, said one fan.
Next up: a Shiraz, but not as we usually know it. Instead of the Barossa, our guide chose a lighter drop from Heathcote in Victoria for a little something different. We finished up the tasting with a fruity, flowery Italian Moscato from Piedmonte.
I can’t think of a better Friday morning. A great session of yoga followed by a trip around the world’s greatest wine regions. What could be better? Only that you can stay longer at Handpicked Wines and treat yourself to their cheese range for lunch, or BYO your favourite bottle down the street to Spice Alley. That’s what I call a good day.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa suspects there will be lots of Sydneysiders taking Friday mornings off so they can head to Yoga and Wine.
50 Kensington Street
Chippendale NSW 2008