Brisbane’s First City Winery Opens its Doors
Who would have thought that Brisbane once had its own vineyards? In the early 1800s, one such vineyard existed in Gerler Road, Hendra, overseen by German missionary and pioneer viticulturist Carl Gerler. He is the inspiration behind Gerler Wines, which has recently sprouted in the river city.
Winemaker David Cush, a Brisbane boy who is a former winemaker at Spring Vale Wines in Tasmania, has now brought Gerler Wines back to his home town, sourcing grapes from the best vineyards across the country and creating distinct varieties in a boutique space in the inner city.
To test the market, he and business partner Adam Penberthy, opened what was originally going to be a pop-up wine bar and restaurant, Carl’s, in Wyandra Street, Newstead. An intimate space, in a converted warehouse, Carl’s feels more Melbourne than sub-tropical Brisbane, and has garnered such a following that its permanency seems assured.
But David and Adam always had bigger plans, and they have finally come to fruition in Brisbane’s first micro-winery – City Winery – in another converted warehouse and former home of Campos Coffee, down the road in Wandoo Street, Fortitude Valley.
It was always going to be a winner, and based on the crowds that have been flocking there to date, this unique offering of barrel room, cellar door, wine bar, private dining room for 20 people and 70-seater restaurant, are proving to be a visionary combination.
Of course, Gerler Wines take centre stage. Handmade, small batch and mostly single vineyard, the wines include less common varietals such as Fiano, Petit Verdot and Grenache Mataro, as well as as a Preservative Free Shiraz. The bottles are striking with their unique labels featuring artwork from David’s artist wife.
The kitchen at City Winery is overseen by Travis Crane, formerly of The Barrelroom in Ballendean, who is creating Australian cuisine focused on locally-sourced produce, and cooked over an open fire. While it’s fine dining in the restaurant, the barrel room is all about simple, delicious fare, such as pork rolls, crunchy potatoes, antipasto platters and pulled beef jaffles. All washed down with the artisan Gerler Wines.
With so much blossoming on the food and wine scene in Brisbane, venues need to be unique, and offer relaxed quality to a standard that Brisbanites and visitors are coming to expect. City Winery doesn’t disappoint and there is no doubt it will endure!
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