Every year, an idyllic island in the middle of Sydney Harbour plays host to a phenomenal three-day pop up paradise, devoted entirely to the love and appreciation of wine: Wine Island.
The Plus Ones had the pleasure of drinking in its glory again this year, this time for the Friday morning start-the-weekend-early session. Guests can choose from the 10am – 2pm morning trip, or a lazy 2pm – 6pm afternoon excursion. Whichever you go for, you’ll be sure to have nothing to whine about.
Boarding the boat to its Clark Island location, my guest and I were bursting with excitement and thirst. The event’s organisers take special care to schedule the weekend for the most blissful weather in Spring time. The Sun was shining, breeze was blowing, and upon boarding, we’re greeted with a refreshing glass of Bellini Cipriani to start the day off. We’re told that the cups we hold are ours to keep for free unlimited tastings on the island (included in the VIP ticket experience).
When we alight, we take in the breathtakingly charming view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the stunningly artistic Opera House view from the island. Even as a Sydney local, I am impressed by my picture-perfect vantage point. My guest and I began visiting various boutique wine vendors, getting a taste of the delicious varieties on offer.
The wines themselves hail from various regions in Australia, New Zealand, and abroad. A very warm day called for exquisite French Rosé – and plenty of freshly-popped sparkling to celebrate. We savoured our tastings in between the various wine and dessert masterclasses offered in one of the main island huts. Wine Island itself is a cashless paradise — so you can try which ones you like, order your bottles, and have them delivered to you as a gift to your future self.
A short climb up some steps took us to the island’s blissful peak. Here we found day beds sprawled out beneath the sunshine, and board games and bubbles lay about to play with. Downstairs, the Island DJ played a chilled out soundtrack that kept the good vibes rolling. With an entire jug of Pimms in hand, a spot on a plush picnic rug, and the new set of friends we made— we had plenty of laughs, and simply drank in the scenery.
Eventually it was time for some lunch to line the stomach. A sumptuous meal at the Chur Burger tent satisfied our cravings. And as if that weren’t indulgent enough, Jurlique representatives roamed the island providing complementary hand massages — along with rosewater spritz’ spray to hydrate our skin on a hot day.
From beginning to end — the entire Wine Island experience is worth every dollar you’ll spend getting yourself there.
Do yourself a favour and do not miss Wine Island next year. It’s a good drop.
Jill is a Sydney-based journalist who lives by the logic: it’s five-o-clock somewhere . Follow her on Instagram.
Wine Island is an annual event. For more information, visit their website.