Testing times for tasting wine has seen a Wollongong winemaker come up with an innovative way to bring the cellar door to the home door.
After just six weeks of trading he thought outside the square and came up with the innovative idea of sending out home wine tasting kits to people who might be interested in buying his wine.
The kit includes six wine samples in 100mm bottles for wine tasting at home during COVID-19.
All the wine is made by Mr Hall who grew up in Griffith and gained winemaking experience overseas before settling in Wollongong seven years ago.
"I was just trying to find a way to give a tasting experience to people while they are sitting at home not able to go anywhere," he said.
I wanted it to be a very similar experience people would get if they chose to do the premium wine tasting option at the Wine Hub when it is openWinemaker Simon Hall
"I thought I could decant some of my premium wines into 100mm bottles accompanied by placemats with wine information on them. And there are two videos that go for 15 minutes each of me talking about the wines and winemaking in general.
"I talk to the camera while I am tasting the wines. I wanted it to be a very similar experience people would get if they chose to do the premium wine tasting option at The Wine Hub when it is open. I wanted to provide the same amount of information and detail."
Mr Hall has already enjoyed a good response from people checking out the website and requesting a tasting kit be sent directly to their home.
"Most have been ordered locally but a few have gone to Adelaide and a couple have gone to Melbourne as well. Some people have used it as a gift as well," he said.
"It is a set six wines that includes a pinot gris and a pinot grigio. I talk about how I made two completely different wines out of the same batch of grapes from Orange. There is a sauvignon blanc that is lightly aged in oak. There is a shiraz made in American oak and a cabernet made in French oak. I explain the difference there as well. The final wine is a chocolate port".
The red grape varieties are sourced from the Hilltops region.
Mr Hall said the tasting kits have been going so well it is likely to be something he continues to offer on the website after social distancing restrictions ease. And when people can once again call in and do wine tasting at The Wine Hub in Victoria Street.
Mr Hall lives in Wollongong and sources grapes from around the state to ensure he gets the best produce for each variety he makes.
Climate, altitude and soil type all contribute to certain variety's doing well in different geographic locations.
"I had been doing wholesale in the Illawarra for about seven years before I decided to start a retail outlet," he said.
"I started out with two wines. I now have a portfolio of about 30 different wines".
Mr Hall studied winemaking at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.
The Illawarra Mercury has launched a Taking Care of Business campaign.
Each day we will highlight a local business who is adapting or evolving to be able to keep operating under these trying times.
If you know of a business adapting, please send us an email titled Taking Care of Business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have also put a call out and will run a list of cafes, restaurants and clubs who are offering takeaway or delivery on our Facebook page. If you know of an outlet now offering home delivery or takeaway, please let us know and add it to the list.
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