The National Wine Centre has partnered with Umbrella Festival and Music SA for Sip & Sounds, a new winter event that signals a new attitude from the institution.
National Wine Centre announces Sip & Sounds
The National Wine Centre will this year host the inaugural iteration of Sip & Sounds, a new winter event making the most of the multi-faceted venue, and which will combine all the best in local booze and music, on Sunday, July 22.
Sip & Sounds will replace the Winter Food and Wine Festival, and will offering a roster of live music, programmed by Umbrella Festival and Music SA, with McLaren Vale artist, Laura Hill announced as the feature act, with more to be announced.
The wine, beer and spirit lineup comes courtesy of the Centre’s recently appointed wine coordinator, James Boden, who has drafted local boutique producers to attend.
“What we’ve done this year is we’ve revamped the Winter Food and Wine to give it a new feel and look,” the National Wine Centre’s sales and marketing manager, Leticia Dunning, says.
“It excites me because… we’re actually going to get them in the Centre for this event, and actually exploring a bit as well, being entertained by great entertainment, and great South Australian local food and wine.”
On the ground level, Hickinbotham Hall will act as cellar door, with a strong contingency of South Australian wineries occupying the space; the Vines room will host a food hall, catered by the Centre and accompanied by a pianist; Exhibition Hall will be the beer and spirits room, and where the main stage is located; and upstairs in the Gallery, James will run masterclasses on red wine, white wine, gin, and beer – the latter of which will feature Little Bang Brewing Company, Big Shed Brewing Concern, and Sparkke Change Beverage Company.
The impetus for this style of event at the mostly conference-driven venue is the experience the team had running a pop-up Fringe venue, The Glass House, earlier this year.
“It’d been something that we’d talking about for ages, because technically at that time of the year, it is very quiet around here,” Leticia says.
“We had Emma Knights contact us to see if she could curate the shows, and it just evolved from there. It was great. It did push us to our limits, but in a good way.
“It was good fun, and I suppose it made us realise that we’ve got all these beautiful spaces we should utilise, and we’re on the corner of the Botanic Gardens, the view is amazing, let’s start thinking outside of the square, and try and get some people through to the Centre.”
James’ appointment also signals a shift in attitude in wine programming for the Centre, with the qualified sommelier hoping to bring less well-known wineries from around Australia into the venue’s Enomatic machines.
“I think the National Wine Centre has a massive base, in terms of what it’s done over the last 16 years or so in the functions that it runs, and also having the Enomatic machines as an exciting opportunity to develop probably one of the biggest wine-by-the-glass lists in Australia,” he says.
“I’m definitely looking to showcase as many of the wineries in Australia as possible. By that I mean there’s some amazing wineries in some small regions around Australia that people don’t really get a chance to look at in Adelaide, and it’s giving them a voice at the Wine Centre is probably one of my big focusses.”