Craft's urban wine project takes off | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Craft's urban wine project takes off

Not just content with selling wine, Craft Wine has started making it, crushing and fermenting wines right there in their Red Hill store. The urban wine project was born from a desire to bring the action of wineries to the city, creating a community project that would engage and educate Brisbane wine lovers a little more than just selling them a good drop. craft urban brisbane wineThe brainchild of Craft’s owner Tony Harper, the project is something that local wine lovers have been getting involved with since the inaugural vintage in 2013. The vintage kicked off when a parcel of Nebbiolo grapes from Toppers Mountain in the New England region of Northern NSW landed at the store, and after two years of carefully guiding the wine to maturity, it was finally ready. All the action happens at Craft, from the pressing of the grapes, to the fermenting in barrels, to the bottling of the final product. craft urban brisbane wine 3The success of the 2013 vintage led to an expansion of the project in 2014 to include a white wine using Petit Manseng grapes from Toppers Mountain, which has also been released. The 2015 vintage is fermenting away in store right now, so drop by the store and ask Tony if you can sample it from the barrel, you won’t be sorry. Just don’t sniff what’s in there – it’s a potent process! You can also pick up a bottle of one of the previous vintages: Craft Red Top 2013 Nebbiolo spent 20 days on skins before being pressed off into a 10 year old French oak barrel where it spent a year maturing and was then bottled in August 2014. The wine has beautiful zingy raspberry, blueberry and bright red cherry, rose petal pokes through with some anise and tarry complexity, it’s nicely structured with plush berry fruits, a savoury complexity and a lick of fresh sage on the finish. Craft Red Top 2014 Petit Manseng had 13% whole bunch in the ferment and was foot stomped in front of the store (yep, right there on the footpath!) and sieved into barrel, before being left for 8 months and bottled the same day as the Nebbiolo. The white has lush fresh apples, pears and tart apricots with some toasted cashew and a little sourdough bread, soft and supple on the palate with a nice chalky finish. You can find Craft at 196 Musgrave Road in Red Hill. Words by James Cooper