No Mafia has established itself as a treat for wine lovers and a highlight among the William Street strip. Owned and Operated by Emma Ferguson and her partner, Dan Morris, No Mafia remains relevant and exciting in Perth’s wine scene for their ability not only to source amazing local wines, but also to play their own hand in creating new wines. We spoke to Emma about how No Mafia supplement their wine list with collaborations with talented local winemakers.
An Italian Approach
Emma was travelling around Sicily with her partner and Co-owner Dan, and the couple were struck by the correlation between Sicilian and Western Australian cultures. They both loved the seaside, had similar climates, and produced outstanding wine.
“We noticed you’d go to a restaurant and they’d have their favourite Etna rosso, and it would be at a really good price point,” Emma said. And when they came back to Perth to start No Mafia, they wanted their own house wine to be similarly delicious, while keeping a great price.
"We decided that the focus on our house wines would also be natural wines, always organic, hand picked, no additives, and always local. We've got a lot of friends in the industry who make wine, and do a little bit of winemaking ourselves.”
The great quality of No Mafia’s house wines come from collaboration with local winemakers, including Dormilona’s Josephine Perry, Blind Corner’s Ben Gould and Paul Nelson. The house wines sit beside other more premium collaborations, which have included Stormy Q, their collaboration wine with Josephine Perry, and an upcoming collaborative nero d'avola, zibibbio blend with Brendan and Laura of Unico Zelo.
"It's quite easy because these are friends of ours. We go down to the regions a lot, I’m a surfer so I'm always in Margaret River. When I'm down there, probably about once a month, we'll just say, 'hey are we doing a wine?'"
"Even with Unico Zelo, it was just a 'hey we should do a wine,' ‘awesome’. If it works for them, great, if it doesn't we won't push it.”
House Wines in Perth
We asked Emma if their high quality house wines challenged perceptions of house wines in Perth as low quality. While she agreed, she also noted that, now in their fourth year, No Mafia has established their house wine as both well-priced and delicious.
“People are actually coming in and ordering a bottle of our house wine, knowing that they love it. If they want to spoil themselves, they're more than welcome to. We've got wines at all sorts of price points. But if it's a tuesday night and they don't want to break the bank, they can come in and order a glass, knowing they’re getting something organic, vegan and made locally."
Emma and Dan always take some part in each of their collaborative wines: This year their house wines were made by Ryan O’Meara of Express Winemakers, and Emma had the pleasure of helping blend their semillon based house white, and stomped on the grapes of their shiraz house red.
"Kind of like it in in southern Italy. In Tuscany you have chianti, if Sicily you hve nero d'avola. It was important to us that we keep it local. Were always really proud of our house wines. It's not something that we're trying to sneak away from.” Emma said.
"We always have a little story to tell, and a bit of heart and soul in our wines.”