In our first Local Legend feature article, we shine the spotlight fondly on the team at PnV Wine Merchants in Enmore, just a short stroll down the road from the salon.
For several years now, Mike, Lou and the team at PnV have been running the game for natural wine and specialty liquid-good-times for Sydney's inner west and the greater region as a whole.
As industry leaders they have carried the torch for the ever expanding natural wine category and opened many new and loyal recruits' minds and taste buds to a feast of exciting options.
As friends of the salon we are excited to embark on a in-salon and online partnership of an ever rotating and carefully curated selection of fine natural drops, known as Wine Selects.
The man with the deepest cap collection in the business - Mike Bennie, has hand picked four of his latest and favourite drops and attached some tasting notes to wet the whistle. Enjoy.
Aglianico is such a good variety for pet nat, lots of cherry pip, cranberry, pomegranate kind of flavours, and high acidity for piercing refreshment factor. It's zingy and crunchy, fizzy and vibrant. A thirst-slaking, guzzling wine of high interest and wild drinkability. Fun times!
From the Yarra Valley and from the grape variety pinot gris. Hi. This is a skin fermented orange-ish/rose-ish wine of immense drinkability, citrusy freshness, peachy fruitiness, light skinsy chewiness and general sense of good times. Animale is one of those ranges that leap from shelves into bags straight to home and into glass. Magic.
Ramato is the fancy Italian name for pinot gris that is fermented on its skins, resulting in a kind of orange wine-meets-rose drink. That's what's going on here. From a neat and tidy vineyard in Hilltops, New South Wales, comes this skin fermented gris that shows off with ruddy, rouge colour, aromas of nashi pear and wild berries, flavours that are similar with a really good chew and chomp to the palate. Like orange wine with a twist? Here ya go.
Shows off quince and green herb scents meshed to kohlrabi and lime juice. Sounds odd, but it works. The palate is zesty, lightly powdery-chalky in texture, pleasingly sweet-bitter in a tonic water kind of way. The drizzle of lime-squeezed-on-apple to close is the kicker. It’s a summery kind of wine but there’s more built into the feel here – a faint riff of funk you might say. We like it a lot. A lot.
We recently caught up with (A-H’s own) Davroe Ambassador Madison to ask him for his insight into the brand, how he came to be their new flag bearer and what his go to products are in the range.
What was it about Davroe that enticed you to be involved as their inaugural ambassador?
Davroe have always been a forward thinking brand, for well over 10 years. Their emphasis on sustainabilit while always using raw natural materials has always impressed me. Their stance on toxic free, sulphate free products that are never tested on animals is a big thing for me.
What excites you about their range?
The range has everything you need and it's not complicated - one product can do multiple things. They have a tight range, with intermixable products. Some other brands can have too many products in the range, with specific products for specific looks. Davroe has products that can do many things with a little knowledge (or some friendly help from your stylist).
Also, i absolutely love how everything they produce is packaged in recycled plastics, beautifully designed and looks incredible on display or in your home.
What are your go to products on a daily basis for you and your clients?
What have you recently been focusing on with Davroe, and what have you got in store for future projects?
Recently i visited the Davroe Headquarters in Adelaide to preview the production process for the full range, from start to finish - witnessing the use of raw materials through to finished packaged products.
It was impressive, they are an honest, intimate family run operation, rather than a massive corporate enterprise, and everyone looks out for each other.
We have some exciting new Davroe How To videos coming very soon, where i run through different ways of using the range, so keep your eyes and ears peeled online and on the socials!
This zero-abrasion product uses the water active fruit enzymes derived from Green Papaya and Pineapple to effortlessly lift away dead skin cells.
Gentle Daily Exfoliant brightens the skin leaving you with a radiant complexion. Safe enough to use every day on all skin types including barrier impaired, stripped skin and normal skin types. This product is one of the few on the market which can be used in conjunction with Roaccuntane. Can also be used on skin suffering from acne as it is zero-abrasion so will not spread any bacteria.
Mix with water into your chosen consistency (add less water and make a thicker consistency for an oily skin type and add more water for a thinner consistency for a drier, impaired skin type).
Use in the shower or while soaking in a hot tub. The steam will keep the enzymes active for longer.
Mix with Balancing Cleanser for an exfoliating cream cleanse for those who are time poor.
For another power-packed water based enzyme and chemical exfoliation follow with Micro Cleanse Super Scrub to leave skin fresh and remove any stubborn surface impurities (recommended for normal/oily skin types only).
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE urban landscape that has attracted photographers for decades — the light and shadow, the man-made structures that tower over the same men who made them.
It’s the urban banal that poses another question all together, and that is: is there beauty within this hard, cold, often-dull construct? Is there a way of finding colour, the natural, the softness and mystery within this concrete jungle?
George Byrne’s study of the urban banality of Los Angeles is one that draws instant appreciation. His ability to find rare beauty — the splash of colour, a spot of nature, the wink in a crowded room — is what makes his work so interesting. What others miss, Byrne isolates and focuses on, creating worlds of surreal simplicity and wonder in the everyday.
As a talented Australian, Byrne is an unlikely hero of the Los Angeles photography landscape, finding himself pursuing several artistic slants at the same time. He knows how to pour a good coffee, and as a musician and writer, knows a few things about creating a damn good tune. Most of his profile work is married with a beautiful piece of music, composed and performed by the man himself.
There is a common misconception that LA is a place limited to tourists, smog, traffic and posers, when in truth there are so many beautiful aspects to experience. Do you agree with this, and do you feel you need to convince people of this?
GEORGE BYRNE: Yes. I think broadly speaking, LA is not a very well understood city, and with good reason. It is so vast and lacks a simple visual icon thats ties it all together such as the Eiffel Tower, or the Opera House. Gavin Lambert put it well when he wrote ‘Los Angeles is not a city but a bunch of suburban approaches to a city that never materializes...’ . This makes LA more a collection of smaller cities that don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other, stitched together by giant freeways and — almost for convenience — labelled as Los Angeles. There is certainly ‘smog, traffic and posers’ but there is also stunning wilderness, rich Mexican history, a melting pot of cultures like no other city I’ve ever been in, and a massive art and music scene (and every other obscure subculture you can think of), all thriving and butted up against each other. It’s a ‘choose your own adventure’ town. In my experience, the only really negative assumptions about LA come from people who hate driving (fair call), actors who feel claustrophobic living in the centre of the acting universe, and displaced, proud New Yorkers that don’t get it. Other than that, most people I come across are very curious and positive about this strange place.
How did your Instagram success come about and how did it change the way you took photographs?
My Instagram following actually came about very unexpectedly. I had resisted getting an iPhone for years (I was worried it would take over my life), but as a photographer I was curious about the whole thing. Once I got a phone and started posting pictures, I found that more and more people were reacting to them. I’d been shooting with square format film cameras since my university days so I was immediately comfortable with that. I just began to have a really good time with it and it didn’t cost me a cent so it was win/win! The whole thing actually helped me in that it enabled me to take tons of photographs and get better at what I was doing, at seeing this new city I was living in. In terms of how it’s changed the way I take photos, I think it just helped me refine and explore a type of minimal urban aesthetic I’d been practising on and off since the very first time I started using cameras — but this time in colour.
Knowing that you studied Fine Art in Sydney in the early 2000’s (at Sydney College of the Arts), is it frustrating being thought of as someone purely from an online medium — or does it even matter?
I don’t think it matters too much. To be honest it’s still a real thrill to have people recognise my work at all, whether they think I’m an Instagram photographer or not. People who come to my exhibitions or purchase work tend to learn a bit more about my CV anyway. I also think that as I increasingly use Instagram to promote my broader art practice (not just post images), people will get a more all-encompassing sense of what I do.
How do you feel about the current breed of online photographer, one who may not have studied, or ‘done the hard yards’ learning the craft?
I think it’s cool and it serves it own purpose. Stephen Shore talks a lot about this, how photography in the smartphone age has become a language in itself. We wade through so many images every day that we’re incapable of retaining or processing in any deep or meaningful way. I say if someone takes a good picture they take a good picture, it really doesn’t matter to me which camera they use. Cameras are just a means to an end and it’s great that with phones, so many more people are engaged with images and art than ever before. Having said that, there’s obviously a giant technical and conceptual leap between taking a great photo for your ‘feed’ and going down the path of being a visual artist and trying to make a living out of it. For the latter you need to learn how to make physical prints, then think in terms of a cohesive series that has some degree of conceptual grounding. Then you have framing, presentation and galleries which is a whole other beast. What I’ve learned is that just like with any other trade, you only get good and make interesting and original creative breakthroughs when you immerse yourself in it completely, whether you use an iPhone, a 8x10 film camera or a paint brush.
As one who is always looking at the everyday instance as a possible image (and travelling so much to find that ideal shot), how does your work affect your personal life?
Yeah it can be hard to switch off at times but it’s not too bad. Years ago I experimented in shooting more Robert Frank-inspired street photography and I found that much harder. The pressure that came with looking for that ‘decisive moment’ (i.e. where the dog walks past and the kid falls off his skateboard while the couple kiss on the sidewalk all at once), ended up making me feel like I was unable to properly experience my own life. It started to feel less creative and more like the art of trying to be in the right place at the right time and banging out tons of photos. As much as I love and respect that genre of photography and the people that do it well, it just stressed me out. What I’m doing now better suits me; I still get a little manic when I’m in the zone but — aside from the sun — my subject matter stays still and it’s up to me to make it work.