Whether it’s biodynamic New World booze, or traditional Grand Cru from the ancient vineyards of Burgundy, it makes no difference to the folks at The Alps: “We just call them wines,” says Lyndon Kubis.
What matters to Kubis and his partners Renton Carlyle and Mark Hopkinson is that their wines taste of where they’re from.
“We concentrate on producers who make wine with honesty and transparency, where the intention is to translate a sense of place rather than produce a style,” says Kubis.
“There are plenty of natural wines that don't represent a place, they produce a style, just like Penfolds or Wolf Blass does. For us it's about someone who is doing as little as possible in the winery to put that special place into a glass.”
The new wine shop and bar in Prahran has assembled a collection of around 400 bottles, 20 of which are available by the glass. There’s a particular focus on the Jura, Savoie and Burgundy, regions at the foothills of the European Alps – hence the name. “If you look at the European Alps, all the notable wine regions form a ring around it,” says Kubis.
Alps is the fourth venue from the collective, which also owns Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and Romulus & Remus. The Commercial Road space is a former milk bar redesigned by iamnotmason. Its enviable portfolio includes Touchwood and Tall Timber. Apart from ripping out the plaster to expose brickwork and fireplaces, the bar’s furniture and fittings are all made from cypress pine and steel.
Besides fermented grape juice, Alps has a selection of beer in cans or on tap, which includes Panhead’s XPA, Sample’s Gold Ale and a blonde ale from Mont Blanc. Bar snacks are limited, but everything they need to be: cheese, charcuterie and gravlax.
Wine geeks will be pleased: each month there will be informal masterclasses around a barbeque, and premium pours from rare and vintage wines via Coravin.
“It’s a place for anyone to come and have a drink, a watering hole, but we definitely nerd out on wine,” says Kubis.
Alps Wine Shop and Bar
64 Commercial Road, Prahran
(03) 9529 4988
Mon to Tue 12pm–9pm
Wed to Sun 12pm–11pm