A winemaker, a chef and a brewer have joined ranks to create Victor’s Place, the latest venue opening at the gateway to McLaren Vale. The boutique winery, kitchen and brewery joins several other ventures popping up across the region. Owners Alan Varney (winemaker), Luke Muir (brewer) and Joey Taylor (chef) have put their heads together to develop the historic site.
“We got together and said, let’s get our three passions together under one roof,” Varney explained.
“It’s a beautiful old building that we knew we had to save and do something with.”
Varney and his wife Katherine bought the site in 2015 and have been carefully restoring ever since. Once an 1870s Noarlunga farm complex, Victor’s Place has been converted into a cellar door, restaurant and tap house that extends out over a deck to integrate with a brand-new winery and brewery out the back.
“The production facility out the back and the restaurant in the front sort of cohabit,” Varney said.
“You can actually sit and taste the wine, eat the food and drink the beer looking down into the production area.”
“It’s a really good setup.”
Designed by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the brewhouse equipment has now been installed. Varney says that Muir will start brewing his first beers on the new system this week.
“It’s a big step up from the little 20-litre pilot system to the big 500-litre, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Muir will be brewing on a serve-on-site basis, using the K500 5hl Spark brewhouse, a couple 5hl fermenters and one 10hl fermenter. Varney says that they may move to packaging their beer, but definitely not to start off with.
The tap house will have six rotating taps. Varney said that while Muir does want to keep things different and changing, he will be brewing more traditional beers to begin with. First visitors to Victor’s Place will be able to try a Saison, a Pale Ale and an English Bitter.
Varney said that to drink six pints in one go is quite a lot. To ensure that punters get to enjoy all Victor’s Place brews, they will be offering “travellers”. Takeaways will be available from the tap house in 500ml cans, sealed with a hand crank canning machine.
“It will be a great way to test the waters,” Varney said.
“We did a lot of research, and we’ve been around to Melbourne where the growlers are in use, but the quality just wasn’t there.”
“We’ve found this canning machine and we definitely think it’s the solution.”
“It’s a really nice seal, we reckon they will hold up easily for four or five days in the fridge.”
Varney said that he’s really looking forward to opening.
“It’s the interactions with customers that’s really fun, you know you work hard on all the stuff and then it’s great to hand it directly to them.”
On the wine side of things, Varney has been making wine since 2015 and has a bunch of stuff all bottled, labelled and ready for release.
Victor’s Place is located at Lot 324, 62 Victor Harbor Road, Old Noarlunga, South Australia.