Restaurant collaborations with wineries to make their own branded wine, while not a new thing, are seeing an upswing in premiumisation and personalisation. Restaurants are no longer just putting their labels on wine and calling them their own, but getting their hands dirty in the vineyard and winery to produce a product that speaks of their experience and talks to their food menu.
Luke Mangan’s recently re-branded Luke’s Kitchen (formerly Mojo) has been working with Yering Station for the last few years. “I physically go down there with my sommelier, Mauro Bortolato, and a couple of my team,” says Mangan. “We blend, taste and bottle with the wine team there at Yering Station.” The chardonnay, rosé and pinot noir by Yering Station are all on the menu for a very drinkable A$14 a glass, while the shiraz at the same price is in collaboration with Mount Langi Ghiran.
Other collaborations that we’re loving at the moment include Neil Perry’s Burger Project with Grosset (it’s not often that you can get a Grosset wine for A$8.50 a glass in a restaurant), and Belle’s Hot Chicken with Rob Burley’s Unkel Wines and Barnaby Flanders’ Côtier (Burley’s Little Darling wines are being served out of casks).