“I’m pretty excited about this event, it’s been in the making for more than a year,” says sommelier Cam Burton from Moon Under Water. Effusive with enthusiasm, Burton spends part of his year working with natural winemakers in France, and the rest curating one of Melbourne’s most exciting wine lists. “There are a few young guys in Australia that are making very high quality, very distinctive wine and people are getting it – unique styles, wines from single sites, exhilarating interpretations of varieties. Handmade captures this and dishes it up with a side of fun,” says Burton.
The mini wine and food festival is happening on Sunday May 25 at the Builders Arms Hotel in Fitzroy. Burton has collated a list of cutting-edge and traditional producers, from local heroes such as Patrick Sullivan, Mac Forbes and Timo Mayer, to doyens of natural wine in France such as the ludicrously hard to find Ganevat wines of Jura, alongside noted winegrowers Michel Guignier, Commando G and Panevino.
“I didn’t want to say these wines have to be all natural or biodynamic. What I wanted was like-minded producers who revere a sense of place and farm with minimal intervention and with an eye on sustainable winemaking,” says Burton.
“I don’t want this to be a serious, boring wine event. This is for people to explore amazing wines, wines that might change the way people think about wine in general; from an unforgettable, unfiltered cloudy white wine, to crisp, crunchy red wine. This is a celebration of diversity too,” he says.
Australian producers will be attending in force. Rubbing shoulders with James Erskine of Jauma Wines or Tom Shobbrook of Shobbrook Wines will enhance the experience for punters. “You can chat with a producer and dig into their ethos – learn some more beyond the glass,” says Burton.
Inspired by visits to epic Parisian wine stores such as Caves Augé and La Cave des Papilles, Burton decided an event with a similar feel to these stores was desirable and missing in Melbourne’s wine scene. The idea is simple: leave pretention at the door and taste great wines for not much money.
Handmade will showcase more than 25 wine producers coupled with local cheese, beers, coffee, meats cured by the Moon Under Water team, a rotisserie going in the courtyard and DJs spinning tunes as you tuck in.
“I want people to have a great day with big impact, to walk away saying I need to drink wine like this again,” Burton says.
Handmade Sunday May 25, 12.30pm–4.30pm Entry $20 (includes wine tasting, beer, food, coffee)
Builders Arms Hotel 211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
For more information, click here.