NORTH Fremantle is now home to Australia’s first bottle-o to stock only natural Australian wine.
James Whineray and Lucy Byrnes have poured love and fresh white paint into the old corner shop on Thompson Road, which has been slaking the thirst of locals for over 60 years.
“We want it to be more than a bottle shop,” says Ms Byrnes of Left Field Wines.
“We discovered the natural wine movement kind of by chance a couple of years ago. We were given this bottle of crazy, sparkling, fluorescent pink pét-nat from a South Australian producer and it was like an epiphany.
“I used to go to the bottle shop and buy a bottle of $12 white. There’s nothing wrong with that, I still would, it’s just that there’s so much more.”
Mr Whineray says natural wine is “more or less wine made without taking anything away or adding anything”.
“It’s grapes squeezed, fermented and put in a bottle.”
He says this makes the industry exciting as without additives and regulators, wine made with the same grapes can vary greatly in flavour from year to year.
“Sometimes people think wine is like coca-cola,” he says.
“They want the same glass all the time, but you’re growing a grape vine, in nature, with the elements, with soil, with sun, with frost, with water…all these sorts of factors. You have to do a lot to wine to make it taste the same for 50 years.”
The couple also note on the label how far each wine has travelled to get to the store.
They are looking at making the shop, which they’ve been told was a police station and a bakery in the past, into a shared working space.
“We’d love for it to be a bit of a hub,” says Ms Byrnes.
The wine shop was officially opened on Sunday last week, and people packed themselves into the building, which the couple renovated themselves.
“We had 175 dirty glasses,” says Mr Whineray.
“I was pretty astounded and stoked about that.”
by MOLLY SCHMIDT