Combining art and wine at Karatta

Robe’s Karatta Wines cellar door grand opening had a large crowd attend, with the ceremony taking place in the art gallery section of Karatta’s new venue on Sunday December 16.

David and Peg Woods from Karatta Wines made the decision to buy the old Wilson’s art gallery following previous owners Terry and Nancy Johnson’s departure because they desired a bigger, more central location for people to taste their wine.

The previous Karatta wines cellar door was located next to the Elders branch in Robe.

David and Peg employed Terry and Nancy to create an exhibition in the art gallery located beyond the wine tasting room.

Terry spoke at the start of the grand opening ceremony, emphasising how good it is that the venue is changing, touching on its history.

“What a new and exciting chapter for this historic building in Robe, it’s wonderful to see it change, it has changed many, many times over the decades,” Terry began.

“The Woods didn’t come to buy a gallery, they didn’t want to buy a gallery, they wanted to buy this building and they wanted to have fine wine tasting.”

Terry added that something has stuck within the building and in the community, explaining that the reason why he’s here and the reason why the art is here is because of Robe community. 

Terry commended David and Peg, mentioning that they listened to everyone’s ideas while developing their wine tasting room.

“That is where I came in, I came back and we worked on a consultancy to re-set up the gallery,” Terry continued.

“I really wanted to do it and I asked myself, ‘What do I know?’

“Well, I know this is a historic building after being in here for 35 years, I know about art, I know artists I know exhibitions and I know that wine and art go well together, it is such a good combo.” 

Terry said that he had to think about Karatta, and ask himself what he knew about Karratta.

“I know a lot about it now and that they have two terrific venues,” he said.

“They do produce beautiful grapes and beautiful fresh wine.

“I wanted to have new, fresh art and I wanted it to be from our region.

“There are many many artists in Robe and there are many to pick from.”

Terry also had the opportunity to work with all the staff, explaining that they are now able to really help people understand art.

“David and Peg have done a lot for the community, they have given the gallery back to the community plus they have added to the gallery with a beautiful wine tasting room,” he said. 

“They have also rekindled the outside area, it is really wonderful and I am really pleased to be apart of it and it is my pleasure now to have David introduce the mayor who will officially open Karatta tasting room.”

Robe District Council Mayor Alison Nunan came to the floor, officially opening the tasting room for business, beginning by saying how honoured she is that the Woods asked her to present the ‘beautiful’ facility to the community.

“It’s also close to my heart, Karatta is a special part of the Bray district which is where I am from and it is a wonderful thing that Peg and David are doing for our community to have people who bring two things together that are so special and to present a facility like this is just wonderful,” Alison said. 

“I wish you absolutely every success and every happiness for you and for your wonderful team.”

Owner David finished the ceremony with a few words of his own, explaining the advantages of buying the new location for wine tasting.

“The advantages I had for this place were that it was a central location, a much bigger premises for tasting wine and bigger storage to mention some of them,” David said. “The building is approximately 160 years old and there was some work to be done but we had many decisions to make.

“We decided to put some art down the back and it might be something that might interest people to come and taste some wine and look at some pictures, with a suggestion that we should ring Terry. 

“We asked him where we would be able to find some art work, he said ‘Would you like us to put it together for you?’ we said ‘Yes please!’ and here we are.”