Don't expect a dog, a truck or a winemaker named Brian to greet you at Cake Wines' new cellar door. It's right in the middle of Sydney.
Cake Wines, the boutique Sydney winemaker known for its collaborative and unintimidating approach to making, drinking and talking about wine, will open its first permanent bricks-and-mortar space this week. The group has taken over a restored warehouse on Eveleigh Street in Sydney's Redfern, converting the space into an inner-city cellar door, barrel wall and all.
Glen Cassidy began Cake Wines in 2011 with his friend Mike Smith, and three years ago head winemaker Sarah Burvill joined the team. "We've been talking about opening a cellar door since we launched five years ago," says Cassidy. "It's a permanent home for us to share our love for wine and the culture it's a part of."
Visitors to the 180-square-metre space will be able to buy Cake's full range of 2014 and 2015 Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale wines, as well as local beers, cider, craft spirits and a number of other boutique wines selected by the Cake crew. Simple charcuterie (Quattro Stelle salami from Belmore, say, and jamón serrano from Spain) and triple brie from the Hunter will also be available to soak up the booze.
"The language of wine can sometimes be intimidating and unnecessarily complicated," says Smith. "Wine is possibly the most shareable drink on the planet; it should be enjoyed with friends in a relaxed and inviting setting."
The warehouse, a neighbour of Arcadia, Redfern Continental, Freda's and The Gladstone, features high ceilings, exposed-brick walls and a map of South Australia's wine regions painted on the wall. Along with the wine-and-snacks offerings, there's also a busy events program planned for the site, including DJs and live music performances, "not so formal" educational talks, wine appreciation workshops and pop-up dinners.
"It's all about this next generation of wine drinkers," says Burvill. "I don't mean that from an age point of view, but rather the way people want to drink wine. They don't want to over-analyse it or get too bogged down by the detail. The cellar door is about enjoyment and entertainment."
Cake Wines cellar door, 16 Eveleigh St, Redfern, NSW, cakewines.com; from 10 March open Wed-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10pm