This beautiful northern beaches bottle shop is dedicated to natural wine and craft beer.
UPDATE, December 23, 2020: With Sydney's northern regions area currently under stay-at-home orders, Winona Wine is doing same-day deliveries of Christmas purchases if you order before 1pm on Wednesday, December 23. You can order online, and also arrange pick up within the hour if you'd prefer — for folks in the area, or for those elsewhere in Sydney who'd like to support northern beaches businesses.
The natural wine craze has made it to the northern beaches in a big way with the opening of Winona Wine. The specialty bottle shop on Pittwater Road focuses on minimal intervention drops, craft beer, Junmai sake and artisanal spirits — and resembles an art gallery more than your local bottle-o.
Winona is run by Elli and Cam Walsh, who founded The Funky Bunch in 2016 — a blog and natural wine party that has made its way around Manly — as well as Manly legends Luke Miller (Sunset Sabi, Chica Bonita) and Bo Hinzack (Rollers Bakehouse).
"We are all passionate about natural wine, but we couldn't really get it anywhere in the northern beaches," says Walsh. "With The Funky Bunch, we ran these casual makers events that showcased natural wines — Winona is basically an extension of that concept and ethos, with the added expertise of our good friends Bo and Luke."
The shop focuses on small producers, specifically working with organic, biodynamic or sustainable vineyards and minimal intervention winemakers. Expect drops from around the country and around the globe, including renowned Adelaide Hills winemaker Lucy Margaux and cult Austrian producer Gut Oggau.
"We want to introduce locals to wines they haven't experienced before," says Walsh. "The kinds of wines we're stocking are very new to the northern beaches and we want to help people realise it's not too intimidating to try natural wines."
Wild fermentation brewers will also be on show, including Tasmania's Two Metre Tall and Marrickville's Wildflower Brewing. And some very special artisanal spirits will line the shelves — at the moment, those include Syria's Aeijst gin, Mexico's El Jolgorio mezcal and Denmark's Klodsede Bjørn unfiltered vodka.
Apart from all the booze, there's an impressive global collection of drinkware and wine accessories on offer, too. Think handblown decanters by Canberra glassblower Annette Blaire; tumblers made using recycled clay by Sydney ceramicist Bryce Malcom; handblown carafes and tumblers by New York artist Chad Davis; brass corkscrews from a small family run operation in Greece called Athanasios Babali; and even a few ceramic pieces from Walsh, who has a background in contemporary art.
These pieces add to the art gallery aesthetic of the space, with the wine displayed more as works of art than bottles of booze. To further drive the minimal intervention message home, the team built most of the fit-out themselves, using handmade and natural materials.
While the bottle-o is takeaway only, the shop will host regular tastings, meet-the-maker events and masterclasses. Keep an eye on the Winona Facebook for all upcoming event details.
Images: Kitti Gould.
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