At The Bar with Noisy Ritual Founder Cam Nicol  

The duo behind Melbourne’s first urban winery Noisy Ritual opened their doors in East Brunswick back in 2016, and they’re proof there’s plenty of appetite for the concept.

It was co-founder and musician Cam Nicol who discovered a room under his rental property in 2014 where unused wine making equipment and a concrete fermentor was lying dormant. Together with his business partner and long time friend Alex Byrne [a trained winemaker with a background in events and music], the pair turned the coincidental find into making wine with friends.

The rest is a liquid journey they’re still unpacking.

“At the time there were no urban wineries in Australia so we decided to have a crack and open the first one,” says Cam Nicol.

He talks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar Series.

MY CITY

I’ve been living in the inner north since I first moved to Melbourne from Ballarat after high school. There’s so much diversity – where people, culture and experiences are constantly evolving – why would you live anywhere else?

 FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Has to be a special dinner I went to at Miznon in the city in late 2019. The experience of dining there was unforgettable – such incredibly delicious unpretentious food delivered and served in such an entertaining way and their hospitality is legendary. We loved it so much that we asked to work with them on a dinner at Noisy Ritual which happened a week before things got shut down in March 2020.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

There’s no better cure than to get straight into the nearest ocean -followed by juice, strong coffee and fried things.

FAVOURITE WINE

It’s hard to beat incredible Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but with summer on its way I’m getting really into chilled reds at the moment – they can be straight up refreshing and fun, and also a versatile food partner either at the table or the BBQ.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Owen Latta is an old friend of ours and is smashing it with a constantly evolving range of incredible wines made out near Ballarat.

BEST NEWCOMER IN DRINK WORLD

Our assistant winemaker Tim has a new wine brand called Pool Wines. They’re making some amazing wines and it’s safe to say he’s not going to be anyone’s assistant for very long. Keep an eye out for their distinctive blue labels.

NEXT DESTINATION

I was lucky to spend a lot of time working in northern Italy many years ago, and I can’t wait to get back there, see some old friends and eat and drink incredible things.

TELL US ABOUT PRODUCING YOUR OWN WINES AND COLLABORATING WITH OTHERS?

I think of the three wine labels like siblings – they have a shared background but they all have their own personality. The intention of Byrne is more traditional, LRNR is all about fun and Noisy Ritual is contemporary in style and constantly evolving. It’s a combination that makes for a great breadth of experience in different varieties and styles and allows me lots of room for experimentation. Noisy Ritual in particular has less constraints than typical wine labels – we’ve been lucky to be constantly evolving with different regions, varieties and styles and there is always new inspiration, especially with the constant feedback from our members and customers. We interact with open minded wine drinkers every day, so it’s exciting to be involved in the industry as it broadens and also refines towards more awareness of our local environment and what is best suited to winegrowing in Australia.

LOOKING FOR A CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA?

Noisy Ritual Winemaker Memberships invite members to help stomp, press and bottle the year’s vintage are the ultimate Christmas gift (go one better than a mere bottle of wine!).

 

 

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