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August 24, 2023

The Maker & Me returns for every type of wine lover

The Fruitful Pursuit is back for spring with their intimate series The Maker & Me, kicking off at Hyde Park's Alt. Wine Bar every Sunday.

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  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera
  • Above L—R: James Hopkins and Adam Robinson

Creator of wine experiences The Fruitful Pursuit (TFP) has brought back its intimate and well-loved The Maker & Me series just in time for spring.

The Maker & Me is a curated wine event at Alt. Wine Bar inviting winemakers from around Australia to discuss all the ins and outs of wine itself, in a non-intimidating, open setting.


The Maker & Me Spring 2023
Most Sundays, beginning 27 August
Alt. Wine Bar
151 King William Road, Hyde Park 5061
Tickets and more info


“It’s an adult show and tell,” TFP founder James Hopkins says.

“What we’re still doing now [is creating] environments in which people feel wine is something that they can enjoy without necessarily having to know anything about it, but also that people at quite high levels of education can also appreciate.

“This is as intimate as it gets, really — we’re talking 20-ish people in a room for two hours with a winemaker [and] eight to 10 wines.”

The Maker & Me

Part of The Mysterious Mr. Black Curious Collection

Charlie Black of The Mysterious Mr. Black (SA) will be the first winemaker to discuss his wine this Sunday, as he previously opened the series at earlier revamps of The Maker & Me.

“We have to start with Charlie, it would feel strange if we didn’t,” James says.

“He’s inspirational in the way that he operates very, very tiny batches of wine. Everybody that drinks his wine knows Charlie personally to a certain degree.

“It’s also really good timing because Charlie in his own evolutions is created and nailed down this sub-series that he makes called the Curious Collection, and if you think about the theme of Alt. and what this venue is about, it’s a perfect pairing [because] Charlie is, in his own right, as alt as it gets.”

Over the course of 10 weeks, eight winemakers will stand up and educate fellow wine lovers at Alt. The following line-up is: Scintilla (SA), Ravensworth (NSW), Whisson Lake (SA), Schmölzer & Brown (VIC), Charles Oliver (VIC), Vanguardist (SA) and producers Fratelli Barale, Boasso and Marchesi Di Gresy presented by David Ridge Wines.

The Maker & Me Alt Wine Bar Bottles of wine on shelf

An Alt. selection

Much like the curated list of winemakers, the location requires deep consideration. James decided on Alt. after a discussion with owner Adam Robinson and venue manager Courtney Price.

“I think what we’ve always tried to do with TFP is it’s either about activating wine culture in new spaces, or reactivating wine culture in spaces that have been long established… get excited people into exciting new venues,” James says.

“Courtney and I have always said that this is a place for wine lovers and not wine experts,” Adam elaborates.

“That’s the ethos behind this venue – that any level of wine consumer can enjoy this place.”


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Opening earlier this month, Alt. has an extensive curated wine list with a small selection of food to complement the alcohol offering.

“[Alt. is] not pretentious in any way,” Adam says.

“If you’re sitting at home with your partner on a Wednesday night and were about to crack a bottle of wine, instead of doing it at home, you come down to us and have a glass with us because of the atmosphere that we’re providing.”

The food is created in smaller portions as Adam wants to “really encourage communal dining”.

“That’s why I designed that huge long centre table as well, because I just think there’s something really beautiful about sitting next to complete strangers — especially when you put alcohol into the mix,” Adam says.

“And wine has that beautiful ability to connect people, two or three glasses in and everyone’s best friends,” James adds.

The Maker & Me Alex Bellas

The Maker & Me Alex Bellas

The work of Alex Bellas

Alt. has striking tiger-like stripes which Adam says are “art in bulldozer form”, laying over every surface of the monochromatic venue designed and painted by mural artist Alex Bellas.

“I love how frayed distressed brushes give character so much,” Adam says. “We love that it went over posts, it went over walls, it went over windows, it went over everything.”

Unlike the black and white, clean aesthetic of the outside venue, the bathroom is a colourful, Alex Bellas art experience.

“[She used] every colour under the sun because we’ve not used any colour in the venue,” Adam says.

“[We wanted] a toilet that was instantly recognisable… and one that someone rushed back to the table to tell people about.”

The Maker & Me’s 2023 spring series kicks off on 27 August, and tickets are available for sessions up until 29 October.

Connect with The Fruitful Pursuit and Alt. on Instagram for more.

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