Noisy Ritual’s name stems from the idea that some cultures historically used “noisy rituals” to aid wine fermentation. When Cam Nicol, Alex Byrne and Sam Vogel open its doors on June 18, Melbourne’s first permanent urban winery will offer these raucous rituals in the form of workshops, a cellar door, exhibitions and pop-ups.
The team began making wine when they found a fermenter under Nicols’ house in 2014. In 2015 Noisy Ritual was born as a pop-up, group-winemaking experience in Preston.
In the new East Brunswick space, the cellar door will be open Friday and Saturday nights, serving wine by the glass and bottle. To accompany last year’s vintage, cheese, charcuterie and olives will be available for purchase. If drinkers prefer to soak up their wine with a more substantial meal, they can order delivery to the venue.
Annual memberships are available for $350. Members are invited to stomp, press and bottle the wine throughout the year. Also included in the fee are six bottles of the 2017 vintage, three barrel-tasting sessions, and 20 per cent off all bottles for a year.
The team sources grapes from all around Victoria “to showcase all of the styles that Victoria has to offer”, says Nicol. Members will learn about wine as well as enjoying the fruits of their labour. Last year, they made two barrels of shiraz with grapes from both Heathcote and Geelong, and engaged in discussion about the subtle regional variances.
Nicol says that Noisy Ritual has “all the things that a remote winery has” in terms of equipment, but its city location is conducive to building a different kind of community: one that knows winemaking doesn’t have to be stuffy. Here it’s fun, low-key and accompanied by loud music.