I spent $360 on wine and I don’t even drink.  Let me explain …

Let me preface this story by disclosing in simple terms: I’m a slave to the art world. Show me a good collaboration between an artist and a product and I will probably purchase it. Whilst some argue that most art is for art’s sake, I argue it is a form of self expression.

This story starts with an innocent Google of the recent Rigg Design Prize 2018 and ends with the discovery of Pord Australia and the ‘accidental’ input of my credit card details and purchase.  Let me explain further …

For those not in the know, the Rigg Design Prize is a triennial prize awarded to one Australian design practice showcasing innovative achievements in modern design.  This year the shortlisted firms were asked to design a purpose built interior in response to the chosen theme, ‘Domestic Living’. With their submission focusing on the power of ‘the table’, Architectural and Interior Design firm Hecker Guthrie were awarded the 2018 prize.

After a quick stalk of the design firm’s projects, I came across one that caught my eye; a design that masterfully combines an urban edge with a regional aesthetic - The Mitchelton Hotel.

Nestled in the heart of Victoria's sunny wine country, Nagambie, lies the Mitchelton Estate - approximately a 90 minute drive from central Melbourne.  Imagined by influential architect Robin Boyd and completed by architect Ted Ashton in the 1970’s, the Mitchelton Winery was sensitively restored by entrusted design powerhouse Hecker Guthrie back in 2013.  Assisting with the transformation of the estate into a fully-fledge tourist destination, the design firm returned and completed the Mitchelton Hotel last December - a 58-room boutique hotel and spa.

With a refined aesthetic of modest luxury, Hecker Guthrie have designed the interiors with the ‘Mitchelton experience’ in mind.  With all rooms featuring their own private terrace/balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows to consume the idyllic views, the design appreciates the rich history of the winery, the Nagambie stud farms and the awe-inspiring Goulburn Valley countryside. 

Taking inspiration from the surrounding environment, the hotel interiors have been injected with earthy, mottled and muted tones; both providing a modern atmosphere whilst being sensitive to the natural environment. With a material palette consisting of warm-brown timber cladding and joinery, figuratively-veined grey and green marbles, copper, feature wall sconces, leather accents, a combination of warm and cool-toned wool carpets and rugs and subdued tones of putty-brown and charcoal-grey linen, the interiors are truly an interior designer’s dream.

Mitchelton Winery Hotel | Images by Hecker Guthrie, Photography by Tom Blachford

Is this the part where you ‘accidentally’ spent your money?  Why yes it is.  

As any good winery does, it allows you to experience the taste of Mitchelton without actually having to be there. After a scroll through the online selection, I came across Pord Australia.

Pord have worked on a collaboration between Mitchelton wines and three leading Australian artists.  Pord features a selection of three, small, limited edition mini barrels, each adorned with one of three artworks.  With a selection of a Shiraz, Pinot Grigio and Rosé, each hand-signed and numbered barrel holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine.  The best part - the collaboration has sustainability and reusability in mind by reducing the amount of waste left behind.  Appealing to the interior designer in all of us, after you finish a barrel, the company advises that ‘Pord makes a great vase, a plant pot, an ice bucket, a glorified cookie jar, and a place to keep your corkscrew…now you won’t be needing it.

I’ll admit, my love of the idea of reuse trumps my love of wine.  Being a sucker for an artistic aesthetic, I purchased two barrels - Sorbet by Evi O (filled with Rosé) and Ancient Lines by Filippa Edghill (filled with Pinot Grigio). Now I need to finish both barrels - in the name of art and design, of course. Drinks anyone?

Images via Pord Australia

Have any quirky or innovative ideas on what you would use your Pord barrel for?  Let us know below or on Instagram.  @houseandcourt #houseandcourt

Wine & The Art World, House & Court, Interior Design, Sydney