David Bowley of Vinteloper Wines isn’t afraid of a new idea. Witness his experiment with a “fold-up” winery in the depths of his home city, Adelaide. In an effort worthy of Renew Adelaide, DB has taken over the courtyard of a retail premise that has been empty for months and turned it into a working winery for his hand-crafted wines. 

It’s only there for the month of March (which is about the length of the Vinteloper vintage), at which point it “folds down” and steals away. In the meantime, the public can go in, see a winemaker at work, see wines crushed and fermentation in progress (some lucky folk even jumped in with the grapes to help stomp the juice!). When I visited, the Odeon Riesling and Pinot Noir were on the go – ask David about his philosophy for these wines!

It’s also a cellar door of sorts – $15 will get you a flight of five wines (current releases; out of a menu of seven choices), with a reasonably generous pour for a tasting – compared to most bar prices for Vinteloper wines, this represents good value. One caveat: this has been popular enough to threaten stock levels, so as the month progresses the menu may have to be slimmed down. My favourites: the Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir … but they all stand up well (the Touriga Nacional is interesting, and would be great with some food, like most Iberian-style wines).

As befits its usually-vacant state the space is a little grungy, but some interesting and eclectic accessories and furniture make it welcoming. This is a great space for the idea (I’ve been looking at the place for ages, and it’s got some great potential for a bunch of wine and food related projects), and I almost hope it remains empty so David can repeat the experiment next year!

Quick facts: it’s at the rear of 188 Grenfell Street (entry behind the Crown & Anchor pub on Union St; or off Grenfell), and open from about midday to midnight every day until the 31st March. It’s licensed every day (it was originally only for the weekends, but public demand won that argument!), and there’s coffee as well (DB says he’s getting better at that … ).

Oh … you can get Vinteloper skate decks too 🙂