Cheers to Bridget Mac: West Melbourne’s own local winemaker

Cheers to Bridget Mac: West Melbourne’s own local winemaker

West Melbourne resident and winemaker Bridget Mac of Werkstatt has made her community proud, taking home the Best New Act Award at the 2024 Young Gun of Wine Awards on June 18.

Now in its 18th year, the annual ceremony celebrates a new generation of wine enthusiasts, spotlighting innovative projects and rising winemakers who are shaping the future of wine culture.

Despite launching her own wine label just two years ago in 2022, Bridget impressed judges with her debut Riesling and sparkling Riesling (pet nat), crafted from grapes grown in Mount Gambier.



“To be recognised by your industry peers is one of the best indications that you’re doing the right thing and really turning heads, so it’s been a huge thing for me,” Bridget told North West City News.

At Werkstatt, she focuses primarily on cool climate wines reminiscent of Old World regions such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, bringing a distinct European influence to her wines made from Australian grapes.

Having trained and practiced as an artist previously, Bridget had the opportunity to pursue art in Germany where she fell in love with European culture and wines.

“I particularly love German Rieslings, which has been my main focus for the past few years,” she said.


For me, it was about working with one varietal and really nailing it, and feeling like I had done a good job and produced a wine that spoke of where it was from.


Describing winemaking as “a mixture of art and science”, Bridget sources organically grown grapes from a dedicated couple in Mount Gambier.

During harvest season, she transports the grapes across the border to her winery in the Geelong region where she crafts her beautiful Werkstatt wines, commuting daily from West Melbourne.

“There’s a lot of driving time involved for a couple months of the year, but I love it,” she said.

“As a winemaker, I don’t follow a recipe to make my wines. I’m dictated by how the climate has been that year and how the grapes come in tasting – I have to make decisions on the fly.”

“That’s my favourite thing and what I find the most exciting, how changeable it is and how you have to make those split decisions in the winery on a day-to-day basis.”

Having lived in West Melbourne for the past 10 years, Bridget has had the opportunity to introduce Werkstatt to many local businesses in the area, with venues such as Earth Angels, Lumen People and Manzé stocking her wines.

“I’ve thought about moving more rurally, but I feel like you just have a little bit of detachment from what’s happening and what people are interested in,” she said.

“It’s important for me to have that connection to the city, with all the amazing hospitality and wine bars, and to be able to have direct contact with those places. It’s really fantastic to have local restaurants and bars that support local producers like me.” •

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