On Saturday afternoons you can find Brendan Seal hosting tastings and talking about the winemaking process in his city winery. It is located in the Terminus Building at the edge of the historic warehouse precinct that has fast become the hip, urban hub of Dunedin’s food and beverage artisans.
Urbn Vino is where he takes the best Pinot Noir grapes from Central Otago vineyards and transforms them into delicious, rich, complex Pinot Noir. By visiting the urban winery members of the public can find out in detail how the magic happens and taste the results.
Urban wineries are not new to the rest of the world but here in New Zealand Urbn Vino was one of the first. Central Otago Pinot Noir and Dunedin are two of Brendan’s favourite things so bringing them together just made sense.
Brendan came to winemaking through a slightly circuitous route. He studied history at university in Dunedin and wrote an Honours thesis on the pioneers of the Central Otago wine industry. This sparked a passion for the industry so he rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in. One harvest led to another, and another, until he was irretrievably hooked. Since 1999 he has held various winemaking roles for Mt Difficulty, Chard Farm and Mt Edward, with overseas harvests in Cyprus, the USA, France and the UK in between. He also sandwiched in a Masters thesis on the very early years of winemaking in New Zealand between 1895 and 1919. A stint buying and selling wine in the UK rounded out his skills.
Brendan has a passion for passionate people, whether they grow grapes, roast coffee beans or brew beer. Connections, narratives, provenance... all are very important to him and he enjoys sharing the building with like-minded businesses. Synergy between artisans, along with increasing foot traffic contributes to a self-sustaining model over time.
Be sure to book a tour or pop in one Saturday afternoon to the Terminus Building for a tasting and purchase a bottle to take home. Look out for pop up events as well.
Urbn Vino has an attractive market site with wines available for tasting and all prices clearly displayed. The Writers Block is produced from various single vineyards and incorporates the UNESCO City of Literature logo, whereas Urbn Vino Pinot Noir is a blend of several exceptional vineyards (as are many of his 500ml refillable bottle options).