Calling all wine enthusiasts! Left Wine will be doing grape things in July, celebrating a tasty line up of alternative varieties and progressive styles of winemaking from across Oz.
Off the back of the success of his first wine enthusiasts event in Perth, Wine Playground, James Hopkins has lined up a killer new set of “left of centre” winemakers for a brand new concept, Left Wine. The founder of The Fruitful Pursuit has translated his passion for Australia’s fast-evolving wine scene into a venture that connects eager consumers with a thoughtfully curated selection of winemaker-focused experiences. We debriefed with James on the inaugural event.
Tell us about the response from Perth wine enthusiasts to your Wine Playground event?
We left WA very excited. For us, these events are all about the energy of the experience. Wine Playground had an immense response and the feedback that followed left us keen to come back in a hurry. We started dwelling on a new concept, something unique to Perth and its wide-eyed, passionate beings.
So, the success of this event prompted you to launch a second concept, Left Wines?
We felt the excitement at Wine Playground leapt highest around the more unexpected wines being poured; the new and alternative varieties and the more progressive styles of winemaking. So we rounded up somewhat of a ‘mixed bag of lollies’, a group of Australia’s most engaging ‘left-of-centre’ winemakers. Unsurprisingly many of our favourites in this category are from WA. Maybe the best of the left… thrives on the left? It’s a cheeky parallel.
How did you come about these standout WA wines?
Word of mouth and the almighty internet. Like minds attract, swarm in fact. It’s safe to say that this particular culture within wine is very inclusive, very supportive of one another.
You shy away from major producers and present wines that are boutique or niche. Can you tell us some of their unique qualities?
We love ‘authentic’. We want to know where stuff comes from and who made it. We love a human touch. I think generally, the more of something that’s made the more diluted it becomes. It loses the imprint of the craftsperson. The producers we rally around mostly operate on a humble scale and, consequently, make wines that I think are more personal and easy to connect with. Secondly, we live in a fairly conscious era of consumption. Therefore we also focus on producers who are moving thoughtfully towards the future, with less intervention in the winemaking and more respect for the planet.
You said you’ve, “learned there’s more to wine than what we already know”. What’s the best lesson you’ve picked up?
I’ve learned there’s great value in staying open and never assuming to know too much. Wine’s a great beast for keeping you grounded, keeping you thirsty for life, and yeah, keeping you thirsty. It’s a life-long journey of learning. Left Wine is a celebration of this very thing.
How did you come to collaborate with Tiny’s on Left Wine?
There are some very cool people doing very cool things for Perth, and for Australian wine in general. Tiny’s are doing it right from the get-go and from a great position, I believe. It’s such an amazing space. Rachael Niall’s also heading up the wine program at Tiny’s. She’s gutsy, unflinching and a bit of a pioneer. We’re excited to be working with such a forward crew.
What can punters look forward to at Left Wine?
Aside from the sixteen producers and their most ‘left’ wares on offer, we’ve also got Cultivar Viños pouring a showcase of natural Chilean wines. A first for Perth, I believe! Grapes you’ve never heard of from vines up to 300 years old. It’s all made with a super light touch. Beautiful stuff.”
We’ve also added an interactive voting system to proceedings so everyone can tell us what they think are the tastiest and the most obscure wines in show. We hope to highlight how these two categories are so beautifully entwined. Ultimately, we’re putting all this new gear to the test. We think it’s bloody delicious, but we wanna know what everyone else has to say.
Left Wine Perth ’18 is on Saturday July 28, from 12-5pm (Tasting 12-4pm) at Tiny’s, 250 St Georges Terrace, Perth.
Tickets are $65 for 50+ wines (inc. TFP x Plumm glass).
Buy your tickets/get more info at http://thefruitfulpursuit.com