Cork Wine Cafe to close

One of Adelaide’s game-changing wine bars, Cork Wine Cafe, will close its doors in November to allow its owners to focus on their other wine adventures.

Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Travis and Michelle Tausend for the last seven years, Cork Wine Cafe is famed for its push of boutique and sustainable wines and spirits. It has a national reputation that saw it championed by wine writers such as Mike Bennie and Max Allen in the publications Gourmet Traveller and The Weekend Australian. Once Cork closes on November 14, the Tausends will focus on other projects: the online wine store Brix, Høst Wine Imports (which they run with James Spreadbury from NOMA) and the wine label TT Wines. “The major factor behind closing Cork is that we felt that with our importing business, our online store and with winemaking taking up a large portion of our time, it was a chance to focus on new challenges in these new businesses,” says Travis. “Høst Imports, Brix Wine Store and TT Wines have grown faster than we thought they would and are demanding more of us. We are excited by that and want to follow that path. With our lease on the Cork building coming to an end, we thought it all tied together nicely for us to close the bar and start a new chapter of our careers. It is not without mixed feelings, I can assure you.” Looking back on the Gouger Street wine bar’s seven years, Travis says they are proud they have maintained their integrity when it comes to serving wines that have been made by small producers who use “sustainably farmed grapes and make their wines with no additions apart from minimal sulphur”. “We are proud of the way Cork has become part of the wine conversation in Adelaide without pushing an agenda. We are proud that we thrived for seven years amongst massive changes in bar culture, legislation and licensing in Adelaide. We are mostly proud that we did what we believed in and there were amazing people that trusted [us] and followed the journey.” With Brix, the Tausends want to increase the selection of wines available on their online wine store while continuing to discover small producers who are difficult to find. “We will continue to try and find lots of new talented winemakers and give them an outlet to reach a broader audience and we will continue to champion the small winemaker. We are currently looking into developing an app, and potentially shipping overseas, while constantly trying to increase the service and experience of our Australian wine customers through faster shipping and constant improvements to the site. “For Høst, our plan is to continue to bring in wines from Europe that offer the same integrity, honesty and passion of the wines that we champion here in Australia. We will try and grow to meet the ever-increasing demand of some of the best restaurants in Australia and continue to share the stories of the wines and winemakers. Our plan is to spend more time in France with the winemakers and hopefully do a vintage with a couple to further our own wine knowledge and passion.” With nine weeks to go until Cork closes its doors, the boutique wine bar will change the list to include all of their favourite producers for one last time. “We will be making sure that all of the wines available at Cork in the coming weeks are available on Brix Wine Store in the hope that some people will continue to follow us and the wines we love. Our aim is to finish on a high, we have mixed emotions about closing the bar; we want to give the bar the nine weeks it deserves. We will be doing a few events before we finish. The first Sunday of every month we will be doing Brix & Mortar events where people can drink selected bottles at retail prices in the bar. The days will start at 4pm and generally finish around 9pm or 10pm. “We are in discussions with a few people to do a few extra things on Sundays and Mondays. We will post more details on our Facebook page when they are finalised.” Finally, the Tausends want to thank all their customers. “We created a warm place with wines but it is nothing without the people [customers]. The people that came into the bar are what this bar is – a collection of personalities, stories and characters that have given our bar an intangible feel that we will never forget. The memories from the last seven years, and the next nine weeks, will stay with us and make us proud of the work we have done here.”

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