Sydney Rootstock festival is back this November

13 September, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

The Sydney Rootstock festival is back for its fifth year, with the two-day event running over the weekend of 25–26 November at Carriageworks. The sustainable food and wine festival offers a range of minimal intervention wines, food, talks, music and art, all promoting organic farming and practice. 

Co-founders James Hird and Giorgio De Maria curated the festival to help consumers connect and engage with artisans, chefs, farmers and winemakers. Past years have seen international heavyweights attend the event, including Noma sommelier Mads Kleppe, award-winning author Alice Feiring and Nordic chef Magnus Nilsson.

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“Rootstock Sydney is unique because it promotes farmers and producers, not sales people,” says Hird. “The goal is to create a dialogue about food, wine and sustainability.”

The 2017 festival line-up features a mix of producers and makers from the likes of Italy’s Occhipinti and Farnea to Georgia’s Pheasant’s Tears, alongside Australian producers, such as Shobbrook, Ochota Barrels, Lucy Margaux and Hochkirch. The first vintage by young gun winemaker Mark Werner from Borachio and Otway Ranges breakout grower Jordy Kay from Chevre wines will also be unearthed at the event. 

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While the food program is yet to be finalised, so far the roster of chefs signed on by co-curator Pasi Petänen (Café Paci) includes Adelaide’s Jock Zonfrillo (Restaurant Orana, Bistro Blackwood), Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong), Monty Koludrovic (Icebergs Dining Room and Bar), David Moyle (LongSong) as well as restaurants Chat Thai and Fratelli Paradiso x 10 William St.

New to the event this year is the Rootstock Collective Kitchen, a sustainable kitchen designed to run with a minimal impact on the environment. The kitchen will be open to the public throughout the festival offering a host of wine and food options.

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“This year the food will evolve throughout the day,” says Giorgio. “We’re collaborating with chefs from across the country with very different styles and we’re incorporating indigenous foods which naturally flows on from the event’s focus on sustainability.”

Rootstock Sydney is an industry-driven and volunteer run not-for-profit event. This year the festival will continue to fundraise and promote the indigenous agricultural program Gurandgi Munjie lead by Victorian author and activist Bruce Pascoe.