Living in South Australia means constantly being spoiled for choice when it comes to drinking amazing, world-class wines. From a young age, many Adelaidians are surrounded by wine, whether their father has a cellar, their aunty grows grapes or their best friend’s family owns a vineyard.
Previously, wine tours were slightly ageist, where groups of middle-aged shiraz fanatics would get dressed up and go for very serious cellar-door tastings around the Barossa. But now, with younger generations showing an interest in wine, there’s a gap in the market for a more accessible way to enjoy and learn about wine. James Hopkins, one of Adelaide’s devoted wine connoisseurs has somewhat accidentally, and uniquely, filled this gap with his very own initiative, The Fruitful Pursuit.
The Fruitful Pursuit organises wine tours around SA wine regions, tailoring every aspect of the tour, from tastings, transport, paired lunches, and even a photographer to capture the day. The tours are intimate in their own right, yet inherently approachable: one doesn’t have to be a wine nerd to enjoy the experience. Having been around the wine industry for some time now, working in cellar doors and wine-focused bars like Mothervine, James (more commonly known as Jimmy) has managed to develop some great ambitions of what wine tours can offer.
“We create very in-depth experiences, reaching beyond the cellar door to rekindle a more intimate, hands-on connection with wine. It’s equal parts education and indulgence.”
Jimmy believes The Fruitful Pursuit has mainly taken form due to response from the industry—they love it. From the long-established to the new and forward-thinking, the industry is embracing this new and exciting take on the traditional wine tour.
“Our focus has primarily been on the next generation of SA producers, whether they’re small-batch, organic, biodynamic, natural, minimal-intervention or ‘hands-off’ winemakers. We also love revisiting and have kindred ties with the older, more established wineries in South Australia. It’s fun to explore and contrast the endless offerings that lie just beyond our doorstep!”
While the original motivation behind The Fruitful Pursuit was for Jimmy to explore all the wine regions in South Australia, he bides by the belief that wine should be enjoyed by everyone. He thinks that it doesn’t matter how much you know about wine, how much jargon you can regurgitate or how you hold your glass, it’s about how much you enjoy the wine and if you like it, you should drink it. This is something that the younger generation can particularly appreciate, as it can seem daunting wandering into wine country with no experience other than tasting from your parents glasses over dinner and the goon sack you sank over the weekend.
Watching the wine industry evolve to keep up with modern expectations is going to be an interesting spectacle for many people in South Australia, who are deeply vested in our reputation for having world-class wines. With people like James taking wine tours in a different direction and seeing the enthusiasm many winemakers have towards his project, The Fruitful Pursuit could be leading the way for a younger generation to keep feeding an industry that puts South Australia on the global stage.
To get a window into the wonderful world of The Fruitful Pursuit, they’re hosting a two-day ‘wine playground’ launch at Fall From Grace, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of May. The event features a handpicked selection of 24 next generation winemakers over two days, alongside small-batch cheese, ice cream and other unique tasting experiences. Aside from promoting the most interesting and exciting styles of wine in Australia, The Fruitful Pursuit launch will host open forums with industry leaders to discuss the present and the future of South Australian wine. This is a strictly, limited capacity event (150 per day) and tickets are essential.
Images are courtesy of talented local photographers Daniel John Purvis and Daniel Marks; feel free to browse through the gallery above for a taste of what The Fruitful Pursuit has to offer!