The Winery experience begins from the Uber drop off. “Where is it?” The entrance is some 10 metres from the street with a slow reveal as you approach. It starts with wild shrubbery, then a structure becomes visible then, bingo, an arbory and a beautiful one at that.
Once you formally set foot into The Winery, you’re eyes wander, scoping the courtyard with its many nooks. There are two marquees (non-matching), a number of tables (non-matching) and several sponsors umbrella’s (matching). It has a share house feel. But it all works. Instead of being distracted by pin-sharp architecture, you just chill in what pretty quickly becomes ‘your backyard’. There’s also a not insignificant slope to the courtyard which I suspect serves as an inbuilt sobriety test for those settling in for a long session. A slight stumble quickly tells you that perhaps you’re nearing capacity. Very RSA of you The Winery.
To the right is my ‘backyard’ and to the left is the actual building with a gorgeous deck all warmed under a perfectly controlled heat bar. Not one of those outdoor heaters that would melt the toupee glue from a yea-yea hair piece. After a little while you do forget where you are – wine can do that – but a quick glance through the tress to the North and you’ll spot the skyscrapers. A reminder of what an inner-city sanctuary The Winery really is.
Now for the contrast – the main building – just oozes 1900’s gentlemen’s club. Dark timbers abound with old-world furniture assembled under a ceiling of…. err things. Sure it’s missing a few deer heads and the acrid aroma of cigar smoke, but a safari suit and pith helmet would not be out of place.
Before the architectural tour is complete, the sensory experience continues to the toilets. To distinguish M from F, giant posters adorn the doors. Steve McQueen for the M’s and I think a topless Sophia Loren for the other. Yes I know she’s topless, it’s the Sophia bit I’m unsure of. But here’s the neat twist. On the flip side of Steve is Sophia – can any F confirm if the same applies vice-versa? In this era of equity, I suspect so.
There is the food and wine too.
The wine list is extensive with ample by-the-glass offerings. We had the 2016 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir from Tassie. A perfect companion to the charcuterie board and lightly fried chilli cauliflower florets. Delightful. Whether you want a single main, share plates to graze or meal-deals when deciding is all just too much, The Winery really does have it all covered. Oh yea – the service was attentive, friendly and discreet. Tick!
We will return.
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