A group of 16 Bowral artists have found a way to collectively support local winemakers and breweries through its busy, town centre cooperative.
The shop and gallery, named Ten Thousand Paces after the exhibitors that live within walking distance of the space, has thrown out convention to champion regional identity and a sustainable, creative community that benefits multiple producers in the area.
About 13 months ago, Director and curator Hamish Ta-mé put in for a packaged liquor licence, based on the condition that they would only sell alcohol made by producers within the immediate area, from the south coast of NSW and down to Canberra.
“What we are trying to do, is build viable long term regional careers for our artists, makers, crafters and designers, which includes local wineries and breweries”, Hamish told drinks bulletin.
Ten Thousand Paces currently sells regional beers and ciders from Cuttaway Hill, which also sells its wines through the shop, as well as Apple Thief, Pomologist, Sunshack and Bowral Brewing Company. Among the wall of 200 wines, there are over 30 wineries represented, including Artemis, Bendooley Estate, Centennial, Marist Brothers and Tertini.
“Because both the art and the beer, ciders and wines we stock are all local, we find there is a real synergy between the two. We find people either come in to look at the art and then notice the bottles on the wall, or they come in because they see that we’re stocking beverages and then end up taking a look at the exhibitors,” Hamish said.
“It’s a fairly unique thing to be see art and artisan produce from the immediate region together, and they feed each other beautifully.”
The cooperative has an agreement with the wineries and breweries it ranges for each to host tastings four times a year in the Ten Thousand Paces store and sponsor a couple of exhibitions that take place every other week. Hamish said that this agreement provides support for the artists and promotes liquor producers who generally wouldn’t have a marketing budget.
“Some of these vineyards are tiny; some of them literally only have one acre of grapes, with a single variety, and often they don’t have any budget or opportunity really to promote themselves. So being involved in something like our project has become a really important part of their marketing strategy,” Hamish said.
Image: Hamish Ta-mé, Director and curator of Ten Thousand Paces