Paradoxically, the experience at wineries – big ones especially – is often impersonal. The people that guide you through tasting tend to be working from notes, rather than having first-hand knowledge of how the wine was made and why it was made that way.
This never sat right with Adelaide-based James Hopkins. So in 2014 he founded the Fruitful Pursuit, intimate, unconventional and downright fun winery tours that put South Australians in direct contact with the people making their wine. Attendees might drink wine on the back of a ute while getting driven around the vineyard, or eat lunch with the winemaker and their family while tasting the newest vintage. Always, though, the focus has been on small, emerging producers doing things differently.
In the nine years since, the brand has run numerous events in Australia and London, where the UK-born, Queensland-raised Hopkins temporarily relocated. Now comes Fresh Blood, a casual tasting series in the vein of Huge Moves.
Fifteen emerging winemakers from Victoria, NSW and SA (“a motley crew”, according to Hopkins) will be in on-hand, pouring 60 of their best drops at Odd Culture bar in Fitzroy. And the infectiously enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) Hopkins will also be there, making sure everyone has a good time at the casual, stand-up tasting. Snacks, beer, cocktails and other drinks will be available at bar prices.
Every ticket includes a take-home Plumm glass, three hours of unlimited tastings and a $10 snack voucher. The first 100 ticket buyers will also receive a $10 bottle voucher, to buy directly from the winemakers.
Charles Oliver (Vic)
Di Renzo (NSW)
Jean Bouteille (SA)
Lust For Life (SA)
Sparrow & Vine (NSW)
State Of Nature (SA)
The Mysterious Mr Black (SA)
Worlds Apart (SA)
A Thousand Gods (NZ)