Cellar Door in the CIty
Bringing the cellar door experience to the city through their own unique range of wines is the essence of Newcastle's Inner City Winemakers.
Located in Church St, Wickham, owner Rob Wilce's idea to start producing wine and selling via a cellar door experience in the CBD has, not surprisingly, been embraced by locals.
Hunter Hunter spoke to Rob who said he has been sourcing grapes from a number of well-known wine regions, such as the Hunter Valley since 2009, Tenterfield and Orange. With this diversity Rob has been able to craft an extensive collection of wines, ranging from sparkling reds and whites through to the fortified variety.
Initially the concept for the business was to produce the wines on-site. However, Rob explains, "with Council taking three years to approve the business application we couldn't wait that long to start making the wine. With friends owning a winery in Branxton it made sense to move most of the producing aspect of the business off-site". Rob then saw the opportunity for the business to become more than just about wine. The decision to open the space to local artists has proved to be a move in the right direction.
The concept has taken off with gallery openings being held every 5-6 weeks and the always popular cheese and wine tasting nights every 6-8 weeks. The intimate space holds around 50 guests and, with word spreading about the quality of the food and entertainment, this winning formula has proven a success for Rob and artists alike. The space is already booked out by local artists until the end of the year.
Whilst the Hunter Valley may only be an hours drive up the road, it's quite a treat to be able to experience the warmth and unique hospitality you come to expect at a cellar door so close to home.