Brisbane's best winery and distillery experiences
Updated: 13 October 2021
Are you looking for a fun bonding activity for your family members, mates or colleagues? 'Wine' not organise a tasting, blending or pairing experience at City Winery or Brisbane Distillery?
Did you know the last time Brisbane had an inner-city winery was 1860, (yes, you read that correctly), more than 160 years ago, so rightfully, the folk at City Winery felt Brisbane had waited long enough for another.
First announced in late 2018 and opened in a warehouse at 11 Wandoo Street, Fortitude Valley, City Winery does things a little differently to its contemporaries. Don’t be expecting sprawling vineyards that catch the eye as you make your way in. Instead, an array of nationally sourced grapes from Australia’s key growing regions are curated by Winemaker Dave Cush, then barrelled, bottled and served in Wandoo Street. Locals can even help with all of the steps in the process and indulge in it too with the winery open daily for tours and tastings.
The Wandoo Street warehouse is the flagship venue for City Winery and it boasts three unique spaces bookable for public use. So, if you’re chasing an inner-city locale to celebrate in, look no further than Wandoo Street.
Wine Blending Workshop - Guests will learn the art of blending wines, the techniques used by winemaker and how they achieve the perfect taste and texture profile. Ideal for groups up to 25 people, coming in at $135 per head.
Team Made Barrel of Wine - You and your colleagues will participate in everything from picking grapes out in the vineyard (if desired), stomping on the fruit, manually pressing the grapes through to bottling your company's own wine. Your barrel of wine is matured at City Winery with a plaque with your company logo on it. The team will be invited in for blending workshops when your wine is close to bottling, the end result is approximately 400 bottles of your custom blend of wine!
Cooking Classes and Wine Making Dinner - Perfect as an afternoon session for groups of all sizes. Half the team works with the winemaker to make a custom wine for the night to share on the table, the other half of the team works with the Executive Chef to put together a delicious meal. Once complete both teams come together, for a delicious meal with pared wine.
Wine and Food Pairing Experience - What wine works best with what food? Attendees can enjoy a tasting menu paired with matched wine, learning what exactly they should be looking for in how the food works with the wine. It’s an interactive dining experience like few others. Perfect for you and your partner, maybe?
In-Office Wine Tasting - Can't make it into the winery? Well, City Winery will come to you instead! Add a new dimension to your next boardroom lunch or after work drinks. Sessions can be tailored to what the group wants or requires, be it education focused, Friday afternoon staff drinks, or just a regular wine tasting as you would expect at the cellar door.
It’s time to introduce one of the best bars West End, Brisbane has from an entertainment point of view. Brisbane Distillery Company is producing new batches of gin, vodka and rum onsite and is giving punters the opportunity to create and distil a gin of their own making. Pretty nifty. There’s no denying the artisan spirit is alive and well in Australia’s spirit and alcohol industry, with small-batch distilleries, microbreweries and boutique bars and experiences popping up countrywide. And, for Brisbane at least, Brisbane Distillery Company is making huge strides.
Founded by Jon Atherton after years of dabbling within the craft of spirit making that included a study trip to the Netherlands, Brisbane Distillery opened its doors in November 2019. Upon entry to the West End warehouse, you’re likely to spot the operation’s fully insulated stills, which are made from six millimetres of stainless steel and come with built-in automated programs for mashing, fermenting, and distilling for the production of whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, vodka, and liqueurs.
Gin School - Located above the distilling floor is the gin school, which gives spirit enthusiasts the chance to sample, formulate and take home their own creations. As Brisbane Distillery Company put it themselves, “let your creative side run wild as you choose from over 140 botanicals to create your one of a kind unique bottle of gin.”
Under the guidance of the Brisbane Distillery team, participants will carefully craft their dream recipe, which will be bottled and given a personalised label for a take-home keepsake. Brisbane Distillery also has a contract distilling license, which means batches of bottles can be made as corporate client gifts or house gins for various institutions. With 30 stills, large groups can be catered for, but the experience is probably best for smaller groups. It’s the perfect date night, birthday present or random gift idea presented to you from arguably the best gin distillery Brisbane has to offer.
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