Preston has been slowly but surely cementing its status as a primo booze destination of late. In late 2019, the suburb welcomed Moon Dog's mammoth new brewery and, a few months, it landed Melbourne's first fully functioning independent urban winery, courtesy of renowned label Jamsheed.
The brand from winemaker Gary Mills has been operating out of the Yarra Valley since 2003, but it has never had a cellar door to call its own. At the end of 2019, inspired by similar venues he'd seen during time in Portland, USA, Mills moved operations entirely to Preston and his groundbreaking urban winery was born. "I figured if all the breweries and distilleries popping up in Melbourne at the moment can work, so would a winery," Mills said in a statement.
Sitting on Albert Street — a handy stone's throw from both Moon Dog World and 3 Ravens Brewery — Jamsheed's new home takes the form of a two-level, 170-person warehouse space complete with a foliage-filled winery and tasting bar downstairs, and a separate spirits-focused dive bar above.
It's a relaxed, industrial-style hangout that invites you to pull up a seat and get acquainted with some top-notch local wines, as you experience the sights, sounds and smells of a proper working winery. The whole catalogue of Jamsheed drops is on offer at the bar, including the newest releases, plus you'll find a hefty retail selection of take-home bottles. "We've been specifically cellaring something of everything we've made back to 2003 in order to be able to offer the full library through the winery and the cellar door," said Mills.
There's also an assortment of craft beers and ciders from local mates such as Hop Nation and 3 Ravens, alongside a tidy range of homegrown artisanal spirits. Venture upstairs and you'll discover an even cosier escape, complete with free-to-play pool table, vinyl tunes and squashy retro couches.
To eat, there's a menu of regularly changing snacks and mains by Josh Nicholson Catering, including the likes of steak tartare ($18), LP's pig's head sausage with pipis and sourdough ($20) and curried baby chats ($12)
Images: Julia Sansone
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