Held at Carriageworks and alongside a masterclass series, a produce market and and coffee and cheese pavilion, the drinks part of the festival will be split into two zones. The Wine Festival is a hall with more than 80 winemaker stalls dolling out tastings of their wines from 10am. The Wine Festival will be ticketed (while the produce market is free) so as soon as you enter, the tastes and ideas behind more than 200 different wines will be free for you to sip through at your leisure. From 1pm there’ll be a bar serving junmai sake, sour beers and wine fresh from the barrel.
“For every [product at the festival], whether it’s from Georgia or Australia, the actual producer will be there. It's a key point for us. They've got a piece of land, they grow a crop, they harvest it and they ferment it. Each person’s journey can be tasted as you move through the room,” says acclaimed sommelier and festival co-organiser, James Hird.
The other key part of the festival is that every drink served will be either organic or biodynamic. “It's a very simple concept,” says Hird. “If you buy a tomato that's organic and in season it generally tastes better than something that's contrived or more conventionally farmed.” Hird says a commercially grown wine can have up to 50 additives. “Non-additive, chemical-free food has really filtered into [mainstream markets like] Coles and Woolworths, but wine, or beverages in general, have been free from that same scrutiny.”
The independent bars that will run in conjunction with Rootstock Sydney’s food market are still being finalised, but the current line-up has some enticing names. There’ll be beers by Young Henrys, Nomad and Tasmania’s Two Metre Tall which will bring a range of farm-grown ciders and sour beers. Black Market Sake will run a sake bar featuring only premium junmai sake from small family breweries. “Most of the sake you see in Australia is like the equivalent of a XXXX or a Budweiser, it's really commercially brewed and they add alcohols and stuff. The junmai are made by toji, sake masters,” says Hird.
The orange wine bar from last year will return, while a new bar will serve a fresh batch of Australian wine straight from the barrel. “It's to push the idea that this is just grapes and fermentation. We're trying to get people to understand that there's not that much transparency in food and wine, and to celebrate the producers who are working in a sustainable way.”
Rootstock Sydney will run from Saturday November 28 until Sunday November 29 at Carriageworks in Eveleigh. Tickets are on sale now through Rootstock's website.
The Wine Festival will be run over two separate sessions on both days, one at 10am–2.30pm and second at 3.30pm–8pm. A ticket grants unlimited tastes and chats for one session.
Rootstock Sydney is a not-for-profit organisation and festival and relies heavily on the support of a vibrant community for its success. The team are currently scouting for volunteers to help the chefs, winemakers, producers and festival organisers run things smoothly. You will be able to enjoy the event as part of being a volunteer. To register your interest and for more information, see rootstocksydney.com/volunteer.
Broadsheet is the proud media partner of Rootstock Sydney.