THE HISTORY & THE ADVENTURE
Formerly known as the 'Wagga Winery', the vineyard started it's life in 1987 when the first rows of Touriga were planted.
The main building and cellar door were opened in 1990 after being lovingly hand crafted by local builder and character Don Smith. 6 000 Australian cypress logs were hand cut and carefully arranged to emulate a structure from the old world colonial days. The building and surrounds became a historical tribute to farming days gone by and the districts history as a whole. Don Smith was an avid collector and many of the building supplies from his creation were salvaged from buildings in the local area and surrounds.
- The slate in the restrooms came from the Wagga and Jerilderie courthouse's. That's a story on it's own!
- The main bar is a haberdashery counter from the old Huthwaites department store.
- The cedar entrance doors are from the Prince of Wales Hotel in Wagga.
- The front windows are from the maternity ward at the Wagga Base Hospital, just think how many wide eyed, very nervous new Dad's pressed their nose against that glass.
This is just a snippet of the history this rag tag little building holds.
In 1997, after winning a number of wine and tourism awards, Mr Smith sold the popular venue to a local family, were it became the spot for more then a few wild nights.
Unfortunately 2012 saw massive flooding in the area which devastated many homes and businesses including the vineyard, but the local community pulled together to re-open the doors.
Fast forward to the Winter of 2018, when we (Kate and Nick) had a crazy idea. We somehow managed to convince ourselves to buy a beautiful but tired little vineyard on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga. This place had always appealed to us, there was just something about it. We had also dreamt about owning a venue, another wine bar or a place were people could gather and laugh. You see I (Kate) was working in events and was dreaming bigger where Nick was just sick of adulting and was due for a second midlife crisis. The opportunity was too good to miss. The winery was always one of those places that we would drive past and say "it has so much potential", "someone should buy that" so we did. We figured no one else was going to be crazy enough to do it, so why not us, thus the beginning of The Wild Vine. Our love of all things rusty, dusty and eclectic made us suckers for the place. Not to mention who doesn't love a good story and this building is full of them.
We were overwhelmed by the response from the community, everyone was so excited to see movement at the winery. It seemed pretty apparent the old girl was the keeper of many fond memories for generations of locals. We had inquiries coming in even before we had named the place but we decided before opening we would give the building a 'freshen up' but like every good reno show there are always surprises. Initially we were taking our time and enjoying the excitement of a new project, we had almost 12 months until our planned opening. Our first booking was for a wedding, a beautiful couple, their names will be forever etched in the place. Their tie to the winery was so significant that we were so excited to make their event epic and win the approval of one special guest. Our original day was for April which we were super confident in achieving, but the universe had other plans. A new deadline was set and we kicked it into high gear. We squeezed 3 months worth of work into 3 weeks, damn that was fun! What was supposed to be a simple makeover turned to sleepless nights, bad backs, spilt blood, tantrums, termites, tears (mostly from lack of sleep), hysterical laughing fits, loads of swearing and about 4000 cups of coffee. That wedding was the best event I think we had ever done. There was so much joy, excitement and laughter and no one even seemed to noticed the paint was still wet! To that couple we will be forever grateful that they saw our vision and trusted us enough with their special day (Not to mention we completed the renos months early!).
Fast forward to 2020 we have bottled our first vintage and it is totally smash-able! Yay to us! We feel this is probably a good time to mention that we have absolutely no experience when it comes the the vineyard and wine making. Yep that's right, we bought a winery with zero experience. There is only one way to learn, jump in the deep end and paddle like crazy!
Although our wine is bottled and tastes bloody amazing, you can't have a bottle yet as we are still totally overthinking the label, watch this space! You only get one chance at your first vintage so we want it to be perfect....ish.
This is sure to be an entertaining adventure, so make sure you follow us on all the socials @thewildvinevineyard.
Think Grand Designs and The Block meets Drunk History!
Kate & Nick x