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October 20, 2016

This is the best of Australian wine right now

Next weekend's Sidewineder event is set to test Adelaide's parochial boundaries by asking us to embrace some of the best and most interesting wine made beyond our borders.

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  • Words: Josh Fanning

“The lineup, if you had to put together a list of the top 20 winemakers in Australia, is phenomenal,” says Andries Mostert of Brave New Wine.


SIDEWINEDER takes place next Saturday – October 29 – from 11.30am at Stone’s Throw – 127 The Parade, Norwood. It features over 70 new and limited release wines from the best players in progressive wine making around Australia.

Tickets are available here.

Neither of those names are familiar in South Australia, despite the fact that Andries lived in Adelaide for six years while studying winemaking at the University of Adelaide and working at East End Cellars.

“Adelaide cops a lot of flak from outside states but having lived there myself, I had a great time. The city, the beaches and access to the regions and the wine as well as the people are just so great,” says Andries.

Sidewineder is a wine showcase event held at Stone’s Throw on The Parade bravely orchestrated by winentrepreneur (terrible portmanteau, but we’re sticking with it) James Hopkins of The Fruitful Pursuit.

The Fruitful Pursuit put on a similar event called Wine Playground, showcasing SA’s boldest and most innovative winemakers, which sold out almost instantly – proving there’s a whole new audience interested in ideas like natural wine, organic and biodynamic grape farming and minimum intervention winemaking practice.

But is this audience interested in the same things if they’re not from our backyard?

CityMag caught up with three visiting vignerons (and winemakers) ahead of Sidewinder to talk about the world of wine beyond SA’s borders.

Peter Dredge of Brian Wine was pretty blunt about his reasons for visiting Adelaide.

“Don Dunstan,” Peter replied via email – still recovering from what we believe may have been a terrible hangover.

“Don Dunstan and his shorts.”

Brian Wine is dedicated to doing everything that the most famous “Brians” in wine would never do. From our simple email exchange, CityMag is looking forward to Sidewineder purely for the opportunity to chat with Peter, whose response to our question, What’s the exciting thing about wine right now? was, “Adding soda water, ice and fruit to it… or… You can swim nude in ferments and people still drink it? Or both.”


Anyone for a drink? Peter Dredge (back) and compadre Mike Bennie of Brian Wine getting fruity.

Sidewineder will not be the typical swirl and spit affair of traditional wine showcase events. In fact that’s the very reason James and the Fruitful Pursuit have been able to attract such a high calibre of winemakers (pictures above not withstanding).

Bryan Martin of Ravensworth wines (out of Canberra) admitted to us he’d missed James’ first email.

“James actually called me up and once we got a hold of the list of who was actually going to be there, we just thought, ‘we have to be in this – this is where it’s at,” says Bryan.

Bryan doesn’t have the same measure of flamboyance as Peter from (confusingly) Brian Wines, but he’s just as passionate about what’s happening in wine and his excitement for his world, his business and the wider industry is absolutely infectious.

“It’s not about where it [wine] comes from anymore,” says Bryan.

“It’s about how it’s grown, it’s about a whole different attitude to production that’s coming from winemakers dissatisfied with commercial constraints and looking to make something more meaningful. It’s about understanding that good wine comes out of being good to the land.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Andries at Brave New Wine.


Yoko Luscher-Mostert and Andries Mostert of Brave New Wine.

“I originally got into wine because I thought it would be outrageously fun, but coming out of Uni and the reality of winemaking at that time just didn’t connect with the dream.”

Just three short conversations and we get it.

Sidewineder is Adelaide’s chance to catch up on what the rest of the country is doing when it comes to weird and wonderful wine and better appreciate SA’s place in this exciting new frontier of winemaking in Australia.

“I really can’t wait,” says Andries continuing, “it’s going to be a big party – Adelaide style!”

Let’s make sure our city lives up to the hype.

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