Blog 65: Winemakers without Borders

Today’s BLOG is a guest post from our good friend Amanda Pritchard – the lady with the strange and wonderful brain that has come up with such events as the #HEARTYPARTY; SIPS and the City ; Shin and Shiraz; Pinot and Polenta and many more.

Amanda has created a group called Winemakers without Borders which we are pretty stoked to be a part of. So today, you’re getting a sneak peak of what this group is all about – official launch is Monday 29 August in Adelaide… Over to you, Amanda …

Thanks Corrina. I guess you could say I’ve kinda stumbled upon this group in a very organic way and by virtue of having worked in food and wine circles for about 10 years now.

I was actually with my friend who is a surgeon and worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres when the name Winemakers without Borders struck me. I’d just finished doing the quirky cool Vermentino and Sardines the Musical (brainchild of wine writer Max Allen and fishead John Susman) and the event had really struck a chord – with media (especially all the social stuff) and with punters and winemakers and fishmongers alike.

Adelaide Central Market had asked me to come up with another concept just like it (Rare Reds and Pizza) and I started to think about how I could group this together so that every event had some consistency.

The name popped into my head over lunch with my friend Michael and I immediately had to write it down in my diary – or actually i think I may have sms’ed it to myself :). 

The next weekend, I visited the new Cellar Door event at the Exhibition Centre in Adelaide. The idea was really marinating in my head when I happened upon this very tall dude pouring wines and playing tunes from his MAC. Dave from Vinteloper. I explained the then marinating idea to him in my head and said “how would you like to be the first winemaker without borders?”

He said pretty much “yes”.

I bought a bottle of his Adelo.

So since then the word has got out about the events and more winemakers who subscribe to the “no borders” philosophy have jumped on board: Nick Stock with Bespoke Bros and Twofold; Karina Dambergs from Clover Hill in Tassie; Rory Lane from the Story, Kim Chalmers (who says well actually I’m not a winemaker – good point), Sam Wigan from Running with Bulls, Corrina and Brioni from Oliver’s Taranga and a great list of others.

There is no set criteria – but there does need to be a shared philosophy. Preference is given to winemakers without cellar doors; that are independent; family owned; that are making new and interesting blends and varieties; that are multi-regional; and that have very stretched marketing budgets! But basically – if you can pack a suitcase with your wine and rock up to a city street; thoroughfare; market; or festival and pour it to people, tell your story – then you are a winemaker without borders. Oh yeah, and you gotta have some Fun – with a capital F.

So yes, the “official” launch of the winemakers without borders crew is on August 29 in Adelaide. And the next events we are planning are pretty cool too. Including Oysters in the House (at Sydney Opera House); Brews, Blends and Bacon; It’s Classic (wine and cheese) and the next instalment of vermentino and sardines – the VandS Ball – bring that shindig on!

Cheers and thanks for the opportunity to write a bit about this