Al fresco on the water at Eagle Street Pier might not seem the most obvious place to find a new City Winery. The original, after all, is in a cosy warehouse amid the relative grunge of Fortitude Valley. To co-owner Adam Penberthy, though, it makes sense.
“This is a perfect fit for what we want to do,” Penberthy says. “I think of the other tenants here [Coppa Spuntino, Naga Thai], and we’ll complement [them] by doing more of a wine-and-share-plates venue.
“But really it follows on from the Edward Street cellar door, which showed us that having multiple outlets to engage with our wine and experiences is good for our business – so here we are.”
City Winery’s third venue (or fourth, if you count Carl’s in Newstead) has moved into an 80-seat, open-air space previously occupied by Nagomi Bento. And it’s not just a simple cellar door. City Winery Eagle Street is peddling wine-blending workshops, food-and-wine pairing experiences and wine-tasting sessions, as well as a tight menu of small and large share plates designed by group chef Travis Crane.
“We’ll go into a lot of things that we offer at the Valley,” Penberthy says. “It’s about creating experiences. At Eagle Street, they’re angled towards team-building exercises and sessions for businesses and corporate groups based in the office towers in the area.”
For the fit-out, regular City Winery designer Billy Dawson has completely transformed the old Nagomi tenancy into a warmly detailed brick, timber and glass creation with plenty of greenery scattered about the place. The back wall is lined with bottles of City Winery’s in-house label, Gerler Wines, and there’s an adjacent 18-seat private dining room for small functions.
For food, Crane has taken his love of Australian produce to the water, his menu featuring plates of oysters, hot-smoked market fish and a Murray cod colcannon. Elsewhere, there’s a beetroot Scotch egg with pickled jalapeno, a carrot “dagwood dog” with carrot ketchup, and grass-fed-beef short ribs. There are also cheese, charcuterie and raw selections for those looking for something to graze on while watching the river float on by.
Still, it’s the wines – produced up the road in Fortitude Valley using grapes sourced from across the country – that are the main event. Co-owner and winemaker Dave Cush tends to avoid the Australian blockbusters in favour of crisp runs of viognier, fiano, nero d’Avola, nebbiolo and tempranillo.
“Our wines are designed for the Queensland climate,” Penberthy says. “Lighter-style reds, chilled reds, lighter-style whites. Really easy-drinking wines. This is the location you want to be – right on the water, drinking a slightly chilled red or rosé.”
City Winery Eagle Street
Eagle Street Pier, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane
Mon to Thu 12pm–9pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–10pm