"Winepress: Pakington Street’s outrageously beautiful new boutique wine store"
No matter where you are on your wine journey, Winepress owner Nick Veanes speaks your language and it's utter magic.
Perched right in the middle of Pakington Street, just a few doors down from Pizza Bar, is Geelong’s answer to a bright and warm neighbourhood wine store.
Unique, distinctly themed and incredibly charming, the venue is owned and operated by Geelong’s Nick Veanes, who after more than 10 years working in hospitality (including Paternoster Chop House in London and Melbourne’s O’Connell’s Hotel and The Railway Club Hotel), saw the need for a wine shop with a point of difference: A place to come and geek out on unusual and interesting pours from independent natural-wine producers, distillers and brewers from Geelong, Australia and around the world.
With a knack for pairing food with wine of any price point as well as his hands-on experience and a recent background in wine retail, Nick began his formal wine education in 2015 with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which led him to open the unapologetically extravagant Winepress in June this year.
Launching the store with a simple idea — wine by people, for people, Winepress looks nothing like your local bottle-o. Long and narrow with earthy, natural textures, Winepress oozes charm with its outrageously beautiful space and blush colour palette, terrazzo countertop, and timber shelving. Symbolising warmth and sweetness, the space – housing an array of beautiful drops – is elegant and refined, yet comfortable enough to relax in.
The aesthetic appeal of Winepress is the first thing that’ll hit you, but for Nick there’s much more at play.
Locally owned and independent and armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of wine matched only by his passion for it, here Nick stocks wines he loves by producers he knows the names and stories of, for people who want to learn about what they’re drinking and have a good time while doing it.
Sitting pretty on the shelves, ripe for the taking, there are hundreds of smart, bright and flavoursome drops available to peruse. You’ll find a broad range of red wines, from a local Gamay from By Farr to a Burgundy favourite Domaine Faiveley, alongside full bodied Shiraz and Bordeaux classics; an array of whites, from mouth-watering Riesling to a fuller style of Californian Chardonnay and everything in between; and plenty of bubbles in bottles, from cloudy Pet Nat from small producers like Moonlight to a classic Champagne from Louis Roederer.
There’s also a range of rose and friends on offer, from fresh red fruit-driven Provence Rose to skin contact orange wines with texture, to light phenolics perfect for days in the sun or with a seafood grill.
Warm lights make these bottles glisten while handwritten prices give the bottle section a homey touch. Prices range from below $20 all the way up to $495, with a special $900 bottle also on show, though the average price sits at between $20-$30. Nick invests most of his time carefully curating this shop with his diverse network of local winemakers and beyond – every bottle on that wall is there with good reason. There also a wonderful focus on sustainable and local producers, as well as organic and biodynamic wine.
But the shop is about more than just selling booze. Passionate about customer service and introducing people to new things, Nick wants to make sure customers walk out knowing more about what’s in their glass. Here you can also meet and taste wine from selected producers each Saturday, where renowned winemakers and other experts come in store to talk about and share their product. Paul Marinelli from Mazzini Wines, Tash Webster from Empire of Dirt and Felix Riley from importer Felixir are among the August lineup.
If you can’t make it in, Nick offers a wine subscription service, Winepress Club, where customers can experience a monthly collection which plays to the seasons. Offering a three bottle premium pack, you can choose how often you’d like your delivery, ranging from one month to three.
Whether you’re looking for a place to start your journey into wine, or fulfil your existing passion, Winepress is where you can leave your discomfort at the door, ask lots of questions, and most importantly, leave with the right bottle(s) for you.
Winepress is located at 201 Pakington Street, Geelong West and is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10am-6pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am-7pm and Sunday by appointment.