The Little Wine Company

Taste alternative wine varieties in Broke village

Broke has scored itself a brand new cellar door, with The Little Wine Company opening the doors to its space on Friday, March 8.

While it’s the first standalone cellar door for The Little Wine Company, the brand itself – the brainchild of husband-and-wife winemaking team Ian and Suzanne Little – has been a steadfast presence in the Hunter Valley since 2000. 

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The Little Wine Company co-owner Suzanne Little

If you’ve heard of The Little Wine Company before, you might have tasted their wines at Wine House Hunter Valley, which Ian and Suzanne have run for 15 years. It’s a “nursery for lots of different brands,” as Suzanne put it, all family-owned and making wine in their own winery – think brands like Margan, Hart & Hunter, and of course, The Little Wine Company.

Now, the pair have branched out with their own cellar door, dedicating a little slice of Broke – just down the road from where their wine is made – to The Little Wine Company.

Located next door to Magoony’s Coffee House in Broke village, Suzanne and Ian jumped at the opportunity to lease the space from their friends Paul and Melissa O’Toole, whose son Ryan owns Magoony’s.

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“Paul used to have his antiques in this space, and they’re looking to do some other things, so they rang us up and said ‘We’re looking to lease the space out, are you guys interested?’ and we just went hallelujah. It would’ve been a big job getting a cellar door up and running at the winery, because it would have been a big fitout.”

The result is a cellar door that fits nicely with the country town feel of Broke. It’s clean and simple, yet inviting and relaxed. We can easily picture ourselves spending an afternoon here, sipping wine and admiring the Broke countryside in the distance. It’s approachable, exactly like the wine Suzanne and Ian make.

“That’s the ethos we’ve always had at Wine House – wine is a beverage and it’s there to be enjoyed. There can be a bit too much seriousness around wine. If you want to know more about wine, we’re happy to tell you, but if you just want to enjoy it… that’s fine.”

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Ian and Suzanne started The Little Wine Company with very different backgrounds in winemaking, but a shared passion for alternative wine varieties.

In fact, the duo have pioneered plenty of alternative varieties in the Hunter, like pecorino, barbera, sangiovese, and albarino. Suzanne explained that they’ve found these Italian and Spanish varieties are really well-suited to growing conditions in the Hunter.

A focus on alternative varieties has always been a through line for The Little Wine Company, as has a desire to produce wine that’s drinkable and consumer-friendly.

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“Having Wine House, we take a lot of notice of how things go at the cellar door, because essentially, at the end of the day, that’s who’s buying the wine.

“We see it with a few different styles, they can win a whole lot of trophies, but they’re not consumer-friendly. And a lot of the time they will be better in a period of time, and they’re amazing wines, you can tell, but we assume, when we release a wine, someone’s going to drink it within 24 hours, which is generally the case.”

To gain an appreciation for The Little Wine Company’s very drinkable range, try ‘A Little Taste’ at the cellar door – a flight of six wines plus a dessert wine to finish for $15. There’s also a chocolate and wine tasting coming, if you’re a sweet tooth.

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Keep an eye out for a full winery tour including a barrel and cellar door tasting down the track – for now, it’s time to make a beeline for Broke and make yourself at home at The Little Wine Company.