Urban Winery Sydney isn’t just Sydney’s first inner city winemaking operation. It’s also a cellar door, wine bar, spot for long lunches — and event space. At their monthly Producer Night, the Urban Winery Sydney team invites in local purveyors of artisan products.
I was invited to their St. Peters location to hear from Salumi Australia — and sample both the the food and the drinks. Wine and swine: what a combo.
Located in Precinct 75, Urban Winery Sydney is one of the 70 businesses utilising a historic 1900s factory. The rabbit warren of small laneways and towering brick buildings had me a bit lost at first. (Don’t listen to Google Maps — rather, look at the many signposts to guide your way.)
Once in the spacious cellar door-cum-bar-cum-winery, I was greeted by the friendly Jemima Whyte and Alex Retief. The couple founded Urban Winery Sydney, showcasing A.Retief Wines and its grapes from NSW and ACT. And yes, they make wine on site. It’s trucked in during harvest season, and huge vats and smaller barrels fill the room.
Their Producer Night series highlights local businesspeople doing great things in the culinary world. The first event of 2017 saw Michael Dlask from Salumi Australia down from Byron on a flying visit. I enjoyed a huge pour of fruity Sauvignon Blanc and watched as Alex hosted a Q&A. This man seriously needs to run a podcast or a web series — he’s that good an interviewer.
We attendees learned all about the difference between salami and salumi, challenges in the industry, and the future of making Sardinian-style charcuterie in Australia. All this talk about products had us hungry, so we were thrilled to see the heaping platters of meat and sausages. The lonza (a transparent, salty cut of loin with a melt-in-your-mouth strip of fat) was passed around for everyone to try.
Onto a glass of dark-pink biodynamic rose, I found my true love of the evening: the ‘nduja. Smooth, spicy, and spreadable — my neighbour at the bar and I might have had more than our fair share of this chilli-infused salami. (The platter was eventually removed from our ravenous clutches so others could try.)
With a couple more glasses of wine — shoutout to the non-buttery Chardonnay — and quite a lot of meat now consumed, it was time to head off. But not before promising myself to return. Not only does Urban Winery Sydney host yoga classes from Vinyasa in the Vines and masterclasses, but anyone can swing by for a glass or two of their wares and a charcuterie plate. Now, if they only added ‘nduja to their menu, I’d be back every day.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa is planning to return for their grape-stomping event come harvest.
Urban Winery Sydney runs monthly Producer Night events. Visit their Facebook for more.
Urban Winery Sydney
6.01/75 Mary St
St. Peters NSW 2044