The team behind Toorak Cellars, The Alps, Milton Wine Shop and The Moon is at it again. But this time, not in Melbourne. Lyndon Kubis, Renton Carlyle-Taylor and Mark Hopkinson’s spiffy series of venues has managed to make wine connoisseurs out of a whole new generation of southern drinkers. Now they’re looking to do the same in Brisbane.
The new space, a speciality wine shop and bar, sits underneath the gleaming new Tim Gurner development, FV, on Alfred Street in Fortitude Valley. Called The Valley Wine Bar, it offers coffee and pastries in the morning before the extensive wine list takes over.
“Europe’s been doing this for years,” Kubis says of the hybrid concept. It’s inspired by the caves à manger (wine shops that double as either restaurants or cafes) of Paris. “You can go in, have a glass of wine, a coffee … and take home a bottle of wine,” he says.
The team shares a passion for natural wines – “Wines made with a gentle hand that express soil and sky rather than technique and human input,” Kubis says. It’s evident in an extensive selection of Australian and imported products, including Queensland producers La Petit Mort and Konpira Maru Wine Company. “We don’t really see [those producers] in Melbourne, so it’s going to be fun to get [them] on the shelves,” venue manager Lawrence Scanlon says.
There are standard bar snacks of charcuterie, cheese, pate and jerky. In the works is a full food menu.
Still, right now it’s really about the wine. It lines the walls of the venue, right up to the ceiling. Elsewhere, the design is dark and moody, offset by crisp white bar spaces and parquetry flooring. The furniture is custom made by Melbourne’s iamnotmason; round tables and stools rendered in cypress pine and raw steel.
Going forward, customers can expect “wine nights” and list takeovers from visiting winemakers. “[In Brisbane] it’s been a bit of a rarity, so we’re going to try and get that [going] as much as possible,” Scanlon says.
The Valley Wine Bar
179 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley
Mon & Tue 8am–9pm
Wed to Fri 8am–11pm