James & Co. Wines

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RICKY and Georgie James are doing something very different – the dynamic pair run a winery but with the absence of a vineyard, and it is most certainly working.

James and Co. Wines is in the main street of Rutherglen and is not only a cellar door, but also a popular place for visitors and locals to meet for a wine and cheese catch-up.

Winemaker Ricky sources fruit from various growers, preferring grapes grown in the cooler climate of Beechworth to craft his signature drops.

“I love working with the Italian grape variety, Sangiovese,” he said.

His Sparkling Sangiovese Rose has received exceptional reviews.

“Sourcing the fruit from Beechworth has enabled it to retain its sweetness and worked really well,” he said.

Ricky said the pair had aimed for their cellar door to bring a vibrancy to the main street of Rutherglen.

“We are living in a wine-growing region, but we wanted to bring wine into the main street and it is working,” he said.

James and Co. Wines Cellar Door recently won the Gourmet Traveller Wine Star Cellar Door Award.

“People are coming in to sample our wines but also to meet with friends and have that wine bar experience.

“We have a cheese fridge, which we call ‘Cheese your own adventure’, where we have international cheeses and smoked meats.

“We also showcase off other local producers.”

The walls of the wine bar and cellar door are dotted with gorgeous photographs taken by Georgie.

“Georgie is a photographer and we also exhibit her work here, people can walk in and have a look around, the photography makes a great vibe and people don’t feel pressured entering a cellar door,” he said.