Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for your chance to win a $20,000 Flight Centre gift card! Offer ends 24 May 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Bourke Street Bakery's Natural Wine Project

David McGuinness and Alex Retief

David McGuinness and Alex Retief

There's something pretty great about siphoning wine from an oak barrel, particularly on a school night. Things are bound to get a little messy, especially when the drop being poured isn't half bad.

Last Monday night at Bourke Street Bakery in Sydney's Potts Point, a mix of bakers, winemakers, regulars and locals rolled up their sleeves to bottle the bakery's second vintage, a 2014 tempranillo from the Hilltops region in New South Wales, made in collaboration with winemaker Alex Retief. The evening was as much a working-bee as it was a night for celebration after the seemingly unstoppable Bourke Street team opened their seventh bakery in Banksmeadow on the same day; then returned east to bottle the results of their Natural Wine Project.

"We put half a tonne of grapes in a big picking bucket back in April, and left it to do its thing," said Bourke Street co-founder and baker David McGuinness. "It was just a two-metre-square tub with an open lid, full of grapes, sitting in the bakery. We have a fair bit of wild yeast flying around at work, so there's a bit of Bourke Street in there, too."

Retief, a Wagga-born winemaker and Potts Point local, was once again called upon to oversee the vintage, having first met the Bourke Street team when selling them wines for sibling restaurant Wilbur's Place. "These grapes came from the Young, Harden and Boorowa region in the Hilltops, about an hour and a half north-west of Canberra," said Retief. "There's a lot of character in the fruit, but it's not fruity, if you know what I mean."

"I wasn't worried about what we ended up with," said McGuinness. "I just wanted to go through the process, and know all of our customers could become part of that process as well."

Between all the siphoning, topping (and mopping) up, corking, drying, labelling and wax-dipping of the 46 dozen bottles there were plenty of jobs to go around on the night - and luckily, most of them were possible to do with a glass poured straight from the barrel in hand (or a lamb and harissa sausage roll).

The best description Retief has of the finished wine, he says, is that "it's like barbecue or pizza shapes. It's got that spice there, but a little bit of sweetness, too, and it's highly addictive."

The Bourke Street Bakery Natural Wine Project Tempranillo 2014 is available to drink now at Wilbur's Place and Bourke Street Bakery, Potts Point. Wilbur's Place, 36 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point, NSW, (02) 9332 2999; Bourke Street Bakery, 46 Macleay St (entry via Crick Ave), Potts Point, NSW, (02) 9380 9700.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Where to have a drink this Good Friday
13.04.2017
Bar Rochford's Gun Club
06.04.2017
Dung: gin’s final frontier
31.03.2017
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden’s very own gin
30.03.2017
The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017
Archie Rose’s latest gin is inspired by autumn in Japan
10.03.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Jennifer Hawkins Sesion tequila

Tequila is the new black. At least it is for Jennifer Hawkin...

Top drops: March 2017

From a floral bottle of English bubble to a tangy gin perfec...

Australian sour beers

Craft brewing in Australia is hitting a sour note, and that’...

Original Sin's Grande Bellezza

A fresh, bright Italian-accented sundowner.

Short restaurant wine lists

Small is the order of the day in restaurants, with tight win...

Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso

We caught up with Nespresso Australia and New Zealand coffee...

Signature Drink: The Baxter Inn’s Charlestown

Grab the mink and the fedora – this Baxter cocktail means bu...

Game up your G&Ts with a Distiller’s Strength Gin

Is this the year of gin going where no botanicals have gone ...

Signature drinks

Thirty of our favourite drinks from Australia's best bars an...

Hot 100 2015 - Drinks

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Mover, shaker

The best thing you can take to a party, according to cocktai...

How to improve your wine-tasting ability

Drinking wine is more than a matter of taste, writes Max All...

Best Australian red wines for drinking now

Australians are getting a taste for thirst-quenching reds ma...

Best Australian gins

The local gin craze is in full swing. Max Allen taste-tests ...

The art of the cocktail list

In our inaugural Cocktail List of the Year awards, GT cockta...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×