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October 25, 2017

The Fruitful Pursuit launches Sundown

A more intimate concept from The Fruitful Pursuit, matching wine lovers, winemakers, and the best sundowns in Adelaide.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Josh Geelen

“I’ve got a bit of a problem with sitting still,” James Hopkins laughs, as we sit down to discuss the state of The Fruitful Pursuit.


Details on the first two Sundown events below. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sundown // 01
HENNESSY Rooftop Terrace, Mayfair Hotel, ADL
4-8pm on Sunday 5 November 2017

Jordy Kay CHEVRE (VIC)
Gill Gordon-Smith FALL FROM GRACE (SA)
Gareth Belton GENTLE FOLK (SA)
James Erskine JAUMA (SA)
Vanessa Altmann SWITCH (SA)

Sundown // 02
Cafe Troppo, 42 Whitmore Square, ADL
5-9pm on Saturday 25 November 2017

Yoko & Andries Mostert BRAVE NEW WINE (WA)
Frewin Ries & Candice Helbig CRFT (SA)
Greg Gregoriou DELINQUENTE (SA)
Michael John Corbett LA PETIT VANGUARD (SA)
Michael Downer MURDOCH HILL (SA)
Ben Caldwell SOMOS (SA)

James is still reeling from the spring edition Wine Playground event held at Arcade Lane earlier this month, the last we’re likely to see in Adelaide, as he retires the format.

“As a model, it’s proven to be successful, but… there’s been a couple of awakening experiences that have made me realise that while big is fun, it’s taking too much away from the concentration of experience that we set out to create in the first place,” James says.

“[Originally it was] Ten people on a bus with myself and a photographer. We’ve kind of lost that. There’s something that’s invaluable in that, not just from our perspective, but from the producers’ perspective.”

Given his restless nature and these priorities, James has just announced the next concept to come from The Fruitful Pursuit – Sundown, which will premiere from 4pm til 8pm on Sunday, 5 November and will only be available to 75 ticket holders.

The event will draw on both the more intimate nature of the bus tours the company started with, and the party element that has consistently pulled crowds into their rolling Wine Playground venues.

Two Sundown events have been confirmed so far, the first of which will be held at the Hennessy rooftop bar at The Mayfair, giving a unique view of Adelaide’s golden sundowns and hopefully creating an inimitable atmosphere.

“It’s mostly fear of diluting the experience that’s caused this,” James says.

“So what I’m trying to capture is a very nice visual of what the best possible environment in Adelaide is to increase atmosphere and just peak out on the producers, on what they have to say, without having too many people there to interrupt the flow of your enjoyment.”

James hopes that by limiting the crowd size, the producers will also benefit by making more meaningful connections with Sundown punters.

“The event that we run [at Alfred’s – The Maker and Me – is] 20 people wrapped around a bar, locked in,” James says.

“There are producers that I’ve never been able to have attend any of our events, because they don’t wanted to deal with that volume of human being, but they’ve leapt at the opportunity to do that. If you’re putting in your time, you want to be heard, you want to answer questions clearly and you want to be able to transmit your livelihood in as clear a way possible.”

Six winemakers will be involved in the Hennessy Rooftop Event; Charlotte Hardy, Jordy Kay, Gill Gordon-Smith, Gareth Belton, James Erskine and Vanessa Altmann; and a second event is already scheduled to be held at Café Troppo on November 25, with Yoko and Andries Mostert, Frewin Ries and Candice Helbig, Greg Gregoriou, Michael John Corbett, Michael Downer and Ben Caldwell all locked in for that Sundown session.

“This initial lineup, the one on the rooftop, they’re some of the originals. It’s like if Arnott’s released the original recipe Pizza Shape,” James says.

“We’re stripping it back to some producers that first gave us our legs and really defined the nature of the culture that we support.”

Tickets are available here. Stay tuned to The Fruitful Pursuit’s socials for further information on future Sundowns.

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