Fremantle’s new H&C Urban Winery aims to bring the best of WA’s wine regions to Perth’s doorstep. In a first for the city, it sees WA-grown grapes fermented and bottled on-site, in the former Mother space.

“The opportunity is perfect for it here,” H&C co-owner Phil Thompson tells Broadsheet.
“There’s access to some great quality produce, and a really great depth of wine-making skills that we can draw on as well.”

Thompson refers to the new venue as a “wine resource”. “A lot of people can’t always get to the wine-growing regions outside of the city,” he says, “so this is about representing them.”

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Five years in the making, the venue capitalises on a trend that began overseas and has been gradually picking up speed in Australia, with venues like Noisy Ritual and Jamsheed in Melbourne, Urban Winery in Sydney and City Winery in Brisbane.

“Urban wineries have been happening in America for probably about 20 years ... It’s well overdue here,” Thompson says.

“We’ve been looking at doing it for five years now – just looking for the right space. Obviously Covid-19 got in the way of things, but when this space became available, it seemed like the perfect spot for it.”

The H&C wine label was launched during the pandemic by former West Coast Eagles players Chris Masten and Will Schofield. It was initially an online-only operation, with the occasional in-person pop-up. Looking to expand, the pair joined forces with Thompson; his Local Hotel partner and co-owner, Ross MacPherson; and Scott Spalding of wine distributor Off the Vine. With the five-piece’s combined hospitality know-how, the bricks-and-mortar operation came to fruition on February 29 this year.

Half of the terracotta-hued venue will be dedicated to winemaking, while the rest of the space, with its inviting arched windows and greenery, offers relaxed drinking and dining. The 59-strong wine list naturally offers a host of drops from H&C and other WA wineries, as well as some options from interstate and overseas.

Snacks and charcuterie pair well with the wine list (available by the glass or bottle), which leans toward up-and-coming varietals like picpoul and fiano. Larger share plates include beef tartare, pork terrine with pickled cabbage and kimchi oil, sardines with onion jam, and herb-crumbed octopus. There are also comforting favourites like fried chicken, three cheese toasties and a double cheeseburger.

H&C Urban Winery
181 High Street, Fremantle
(08) 9336 1638

Sun to Thurs midday–10pm
Fri & Sat midday–midnight