11 June 2024

Five minutes with Angus Raddon, Vino Friendo

| Lucy Ridge
Bearded man in hat stands next to tub of grapes

Angus Raddon got his start after volunteering at a winery. Photo: Angus Raddon.

Who are you?

Angus Raddon. I make wine under the label Vino Friendo and I also work at some local wineries.

Tell me about Vino Friendo.

During COVID, I had some time on my hands, and I started volunteering at Ravensworth Wines at Murrumbateman because I had an interest in making my own wines. Vino Friendo started because Brian Martin, the winemaker at Ravensworth, said, “If you can get your hands on some fruit, you can have a go at making some wine here next year”.

I started my career in hospitality and worked in lots of restaurants, wine bars and cafes around Canberra. From that, I developed my interest in wine, and over the past eight years, it’s become the focus of my life.

Two men hold bottles of wine outside a bar

Angus Raddon from Vino Friend (R) says Paranormal Wines is one of his favourite places to drink in Canberra. Photo: Angus Raddon.

If you weren’t making wine, what would you be doing instead?

Restaurants have always been a big focus in my life. For a long time, I wanted to open a venue – I kind of want to open a falafel place. There’s still potential to do that, but it’s a big commitment.

What is your winemaking philosophy?

I like making fun, easy-drinking wines. I think wine doesn’t need to be as serious as people often think. At the end of the day, it’s just fermented grapes! I don’t think there should be any gatekeeping because it just stops people from enjoying it.

What is your favourite ingredient when cooking?

I use a lot of Japanese shiitake mushroom stock powder. It makes everything taste so delicious; you can add it to almost anything. That and sherry vinegar, that’s another favourite ingredient.

Jiwoo at Cafe Mame

Cafe Mame in Melba – get out there and give it a go (you’ll be glad you did). Photo: Michelle Taylor.

What’s an underrated Canberra venue that you love?

Cafe Mame in Melba. I reckon that’s one of the best cafes in Canberra but so few people have heard about it!

Who do you admire in the Canberra wine scene?

The two winemakers I work for: Brian Martin from Ravensworth has such a great approach to wine. Even though he’s been making wine for a long time, he’s just so excited about what he’s doing every vintage. And Hamish Young at Mada Wines is very methodical about how he makes wines. I respect them both so much. Even though they make wine in very different ways, I reckon they’re two of the best winemakers in Canberra.

What is your current food obsession?

For my 30th birthday, my friends got me a Gozney pizza dome for my house. I worked as a pizza chef for a while and make a lot of pizza.

What’s a food that reminds you of your childhood?

My Mum used to make a chicken and mushroom pie. If we were having a birthday dinner, we’d always choose that. She’d also take the leftover bits of puff pastry, twist them up, and bake them with cheese. I loved that, too.

bottle of wine at such and such

Angus rates the wine list at Such and Such. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Where are you travelling next?

I want to go back to Europe. I’ve been there before, but I’d like to return now with a focus on wine. I’d like to go to Sicily: they make some of my favourite wines. But that will be a while off; I need to wait for the wine to pay off a little more!

What’s your favourite bar in Canberra?

I honestly think Such & Such has one of the best wine lists, and there’s such a great vibe. But also, Bar Rochford is so nice in Winter, and I love the Old Canberra Inn and Paranormal Wines.

When you can’t be bothered to cook, what do you order?

A special meal I get for myself is from CBD Dumpling House. I get Malaysian fried rice and Shantung Lamb. It’s this fatty fried lamb that’s so vinegary and spicy and it’s so wildly unhealthy for you but it’s so delicious!

Who would your dream dinner guest be, and what would you cook for them?

Andre 3000 – one of my favourite artists and generally seems like a super interesting guy. One of the best things I’ve ever cooked was a flatbread with mussels in burnt butter and chilli. I’m not sure if he would be into it, but I would be stoked to eat that again.

An easy one to finish – what’s your go-to coffee order?

Decaf long black. I gave up on caffeine about two-and-a-half years ago when I realised it was just giving me anxiety and making me grind my teeth. But luckily, Barrio and Red Brick Coffee do incredible decaf – you can’t tell the difference!

Find out more about Vino Friendo on Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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