By Sonia Bavistock
What inspires an international couple, living and working in Sydney, to pack it all in, travel the world… and then settle down in Adelaide?
For Nina and Baz Rampal, owners of the wine bar, The Local Wine Co, it was simple – quality of lifestyle for their young family.
Nina, who was born in Germany, and Baz, born in India, both had busy and successful corporate careers spanning over a decade in Sydney, but admitted there was something missing.
“At some point, particularly when you become parents, you start rethinking your priorities and what’s important to you,” Nina explains.
“Also, the price you pay to have opportunities in cities like Sydney – it made us question whether it was worth it,” Baz adds.
And so, they decided to leave their respective jobs, pack their lives into three suitcases and set off on a global adventure, with two-year-old daughter, Neva Olivia in tow.
The first destination for the Rampal family was South America, followed by Europe, and it was evident there was a strong, overarching theme to every place they visited: wine.
“We stayed at a vineyard in Tuscany for a few weeks and one of the neighbours tried to convince us to buy the winery next door,” Baz recalls.
While the winery purchase wasn’t meant to be, their time in Tuscany did spark what would become the concept for The Local Wine Co and meant it was time to return to Australia to turn their idea into reality.
After spending a week in Adelaide five years earlier, it was the final destination on their worldwide itinerary and the couple gave themselves four weeks to try the city on for size.
“Adelaide has the right amount of everything you need without overcomplicating things,” Baz says.
“And with our idea for the business, it seemed like the perfect place for us to settle down.”
When choosing where to live, Baz and Nina wanted to be central to the beach, hills and wine regions but also close to a more cosmopolitan offering of food and wine. This was when they discovered King William Road and their home in Unley Park.
“We moved into the area and then this space became available and we thought, ‘how cool would it be to start our wine bar here?’ and now our commute to work is less than five minutes!”
Designed to be “the place between work and home”, every wine is personally selected by Baz and Nina and food is sourced locally from producers, suppliers and neighbours at home and along King William Road.
“There are three main elements to our wine bar,” Baz explains.
“It’s a place for locals, obviously it’s about the wine, and it’s also about enjoying each other’s company – hence the name, The Local Wine Co.
“We all love our SA wines, but we also want to see what other parts of the country and the world are doing. Adding those two extra dimensions makes you appreciate your local wines even more and to have that comparison is invaluable.
“Adelaide has a strong wine culture and people genuinely have an interest in and enjoy good wine, so it’s very rewarding to start a business here for likeminded guests.
“People have embraced not just our concept, but they’ve embraced us as well, which makes it all worthwhile and makes us want to make sure they have a good time and we have all the right elements to make them feel like locals.”
When asked to sum up their Adelaide experience to date, Nina has the perfect analogy.
“We feel like our first visit to Adelaide was the tasting, our second visit was the glass and now we’ve bought the whole bottle!”
Sonia Bavistock is a fashion and lifestyle blogger and also has her own social media management and copywriting business. Sonia is passionate about all things South Australia and can often be seen dining out with a glass of wine in hand.
Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.