About Us

History

OUR PIONEER TRIBUTE

In 1853 Charles Hubert de Castella immigrated to Australia from the Neuchâtel in Switzerland at the invitation of Joseph La Trobe, the first lieutenant-governor of Victoria. Joining his brother Paul in the Yarra Valley, they expanded Yering Station and built St Hubert’s. It was there they ran cattle and established Victoria’s first commercial vineyard, importing vines from Château Lafite in France, complete with the state’s primary wine processing plant and a distillery.

Hubert, as he preferred to be known, was not only passionate about his beloved new country, but he fast became an exceptional winemaker, winning many international awards. The first being the German Emperor’s Grand Prize for the Best Australian Wine Exhibitor in the Great Melbourne Exhibition in 1880, for which the grand Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne were built. 

In his pursuit to prove that ‘new world’ wines were just as good (if not better) than French wines, he read (and wrote) widely on the subject of winemaking. Developing his skills, he shared his knowledge with other winemakers throughout Victoria, developing a strong wine community. 

In the evenings, after a hard day’s toil on the land, he would relish a glass of his finest, some good food and, most importantly, exceptional company, languishing over long conversations, laughter, friendship, and the odd cigar.  

 

One hundred seventeen years later, Hubert’s great-granddaughter, SigriddeCastella, met ex-biochemist, Antony Anderson. Uniting their passions for wine and science, together they journeyed the world, exploring their love affair with wine and gaining an expansive wine cellar. 

Their shared love of hosting gastronomic degustation wine dinners for friends soon saw Antony’s passion for wine become all-consuming. He studied with London’s coveted Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET3, WSET4 pending) while Sigrid focussed on her love of artisan food and the ‘slow food’ movement. In 2013 their combined passions culminated in the launch of the Wine MatchmakerTM brand –a side-hustle focussed on helping you to get “wine confident.”With a passion for wines that will improve with age, Sigrid and Antony somehow ended up with over 1,000 bottles slowly aging in climate-controlled storage. With more wine than they could drink, Antony suggested that they find a way to share their back vintages with others who might enjoy the experience. And so the concept for Life’s Too Short back-vintage wine bar was born.Their shared love of hosting gastronomic degustation wine dinners for friends soon saw Antony’s passion for wine become allconsuming. He studied with London’s coveted Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET3, WSET4 pending) while Sigrid focussed on her love of artisan food and the ‘slow food’ movement. In 2013 their combined passions culminated in the launch of the Wine MatchmakerTM brand a sidehustle focussed on helping you to get “wine confident.”With a passion for wines that will improve with age, Sigrid and Antony somehow ended up with over 1,000 bottles slowly aging in climatecontrolled storage. With more wine than they could drink, Antony suggested that they find a way to share their back vintages with others who might enjoy the experience. And so the concept for Life’s Too Short back

Life’s Too Short Bar pays homage to Hubert, Paul, and all the pioneering winemakers who paved the way for us to drink the fantastic wines we enjoy today. We remember them (and those who have come since) in the stories behind each region, vineyard, and bottle –stories that add to the richness of our experience.It is in the same tradition that we invite you to join us at the end of your day to relish in a glass of our finest, partake in delicious artisan food, and languish over long conversations, laughter, friendship, and perhaps even the odd cigar.

Life’s Too Short Bar pays homage to Hubert, Paul, and all the pioneering winemakers who paved the way for us to drink the fantastic wines we enjoy today. We remember them (and those who have come since) in the stories behind each region, vineyard, and bottle –stories that add to the richness of our experience.It is in the same tradition that we invite you to join us at the end of your day to relish in a glass of our finest, partake in delicious artisan food, and languish over long conversations, laughter, friendship, and perhaps even the odd cigar.-vintage wine bar was born.

In1853CharlesHubertdeCastellaimmigratedtoAustraliafromtheNeuchâtelinSwitzerlandattheinvitationofJosephLaTrobe,thefirstlieutenantgovernorofVictoria.JoininghisbrotherPaulintheYarraValley,theyexpandedYeringStationandbuiltStHubert’s.ItwastheretheyrancattleandestablishedVictoria’sfirstcommercialvineyard,importingvinesfromChâteauLafiteinFrance,completewiththestate’sprimarywineprocessingplantandadistillery.Hubert,ashepreferredtobeknown,wasnotonlypassionateabouthisbelovednewcountry,buthefastbecameanexceptionalwinemaker,winningmanyinternationalawards.ThefirstbeingtheGermanEmperor’sGrandPrizefortheBestAustralianWineExhibitorintheGreatMelbourneExhibitionin1880,forwhichthegrandExhibitionBuildingsinMelbournewerebuilt.nhispursuittoprovethat‘newworld’wineswerejustasgood(ifnotbetter)thanFrenchwines,heread(andwrote)widelyonthesubjectofwinemaking.Developinghisskills,hesharedhisknowledgewithotherwinemakersthroughoutVictoria,developingastrongwinecommunity.Intheevenings,afterahardday’stoilontheland,hewouldrelishaglassofhisfinest,somegoodfoodand,mostimportantly,exceptionalcompany,languishingoverlongconversations,laughter,friendship,andtheoddcigar.

Sigrid and Antony

the Cook and the Somm

AS self-confessed foodies, we’ve scoured the globe (as well as our favourite local artisans and our own private cellar) for the most delicious food and wine you might ever find in Melbourne.

We now invite you to come and share it with us.

Wine Philosophy

Did you know that a staggering 97% of wine is consumed within 72 hours of purchase?
 
This means most wines cannot realise their true potential that comes with age. It is time in the bottle that softens harsh tannins and develops a depth and complexity on the palate –one that simply cannot be experienced in a current vintage wine. The enjoyment of back vintage wines appears to be a ‘thing of the past.
 
’Life’s Too Short Bar aims to kindle that experience, sharing our own private cellar of exclusive back vintage wines by the glass, only when they’re ready to drink. Every wine is tasted, aired and decanted (if necessary) before making them available to ensure you experience them at their best.
 
And as there may be only one or two bottles in existence, these rare back-vintage opportunities are on a first-come-first-served basis, although you’re always welcome to ask what else we have hidden away.
 
Life’s Too Short to drink bad wine, right?
 
So why not join us for a glass or two of the best?
 

Food Philosophy

As a child, Sigrid learned to cook with her Le Cordon Bleu-trained Grandmother during school holidays. With an anthology of old family recipes, she spent years experimenting and adapting them to maximise taste, texture and wine pair-ability.

Sigrid has a passion for the slow-food movement, which promotes local and traditional cooking, focussing on high-quality artisan producers and sustainable foods. The bottom line? Real food made with love simply tastes better.

It’s the purity of ingredients and clean tastes that perfectly match with the wines Antony offers –food that tastes utterly delicious while allowing the bouquet and palate of the wine to shine through.

Sigrid works with a community of chefs and artisan producers to compile a seasonal menu that features exciting and delectable morsels that are undeniably good with a glass (or two) of fine wine.

Life’s Too Short to eat average food, right?

So why not join us and dine on some of the best?

“Life’s too short not to spend every waking moment doing something you love.“

–Joely Sue Burkhart