The best places to drink natural wine in London’s Shoreditch

Shoreditch Wine Crawl

Wine writer and founder of Dalston Wine Club, Hannah Crosbie, takes us on a natural wine tour of her favourite East End haunts

By Hannah Crosbie    Photography by Bryony Watson

Although there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to drinking wine in the capital, I always find myself returning to the hotspots of Shoreditch – whether I’m working or playing. The east London neighbourhood has become a stronghold for the city’s natural wine movement. After all, an endearing spirit of experimentation and creativity necessitates a style of wine to match. With this in mind, I’ve rounded up my favourite bars, wineries, shops and people who are making great things happen in the world of wine – all within walking distance of Shoreditch House.

Shoreditch Wine Crawl
Shoreditch Wine Crawl

1pm: Funk, Colombia Road

The air is thick with chill as we pace down Columbia Road. It’s the tail end of November, and it’s positively Baltic. Mist curls behind us as we clamber inside Funk – the latest opening from The Cheese Bar. Cofounder, Taylor Carver, greets our cold faces, but our hats stay firmly on as we ask for something to warm us up. Luckily, the wine buyer, Fleur, has just the thing for us: a sparkling pink by Austrian producer Jurtschitsch. It’s a blend of Zweigelt, Pinot Noir and St Laurent that stands up to some of the best in Champagne. We nibble on cheese and spin a couple of their records, a collection contributed to by Fleur and Mathew, Funk’s other cofounder.

Shoreditch Wine Crawl
Shoreditch Wine Crawl

2pm: Sager + Wilde, Hackney Road

One short walk along Ravenscroft Street later, and we’re at Sager + Wilde on Hackney Road. Something of an institution to the area, S+W was among the first of the natural wine bars to pop up near Shoreditch. Not satisfied with simply selling great wines, founder Michael Sager has just launched an importing business, too. The wine we select is one of his: the Putes Féministes from Fleur Godart. Sager makes a point of importing women-made wines, and you can’t get more staunchly feminist than this bottle. This blend of Gewürztraminer and Muscat is incredibly striking on the nose – think flowers and tropical fruit – which carries through to a gently acidic palate. 

Shoreditch Wine Crawl
Shoreditch Wine Crawl

4pm: The Laughing Heart, Hackney Road

Just a quick stroll up the road is the restaurant, wine cave and bottle shop, The Laughing Heart. I was greeted by its knowledgeable and friendly sommelier who took me through some of the latest additions to the wine list. He’s downstairs, surrounded by rows of bottles in the cellar. We open a Beaujolais and there’s an electricity in the air before the night gets in full swing.

Shoreditch Wine Crawl
Shoreditch Wine Crawl

5pm: Renegade Urban Winery, Arch 12 Gales Gardens

Now several glasses of wine in, a longer walk in the winter air is welcome and – mercifully – consists mostly of straight roads. We follow Hackney Road to its end and turn from Cambridge Heath Road to an unassuming alleyway. Its entrance is a wall of furniture (I’m mistaken for a seller and asked for the price of a fil