Not only does Bethnal Green have a urban farmhouse brewery, it now also boasts an urban winery. Renegade London Wine, the city’s second urban winery after London Cru, is tucked away in an arch down Garden Gales alley off Bethnal Green Road. Using grapes from around the UK and Europe, founders Warwick Smith and New Zealand winemaker Josh Hammond harvest, process, age, bottle, cork, label and wax their bottles on-site. Their archway is open as a bar several times a week (check ahead for opening times) when you can drop in for free tasters of their range and stick around for wines by the glass or bottle accompanied by cheese and charcuterie. You can of course buy wine to takeaway too.
Josh, who cut his teeth at Villa Maria in NZ, was on hand to take us through their selection when we visited, starting with a Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux which he described as “flinty”. I preferred the subtler Bacchus made with grapes grown in Herefordshire, and an unrecognisable, almost buttery Chardonnay. Best of all though was their Pinot Noir which is yet to be officially bottled, though you can see the beautiful labels below. There’s plenty of info about each individual wine up on their website here. They are working to expand their range soon, especially with a harvest on the horizon. With the help of some smart lighting and a piano (which always gets bonus points), they’ve created a welcoming space for enjoying fine wine without any of the pretension that usually comes with it.
Renegade London Wine – renegadelondonwine.com
Arch 12, Gales Gardens, Bethnal Green, E2 0EJ