Abby Moret and Rabiya Oeztan were teenagers when they first worked together at the New Zealand Natural ice-cream shop on Acland Street in St Kilda. Friends since high school, they’re once again working side by side, this time at the considerably more mature Richmond venue, Atlas Vinifera.
The pair opened the wine bar and bottle shop in March 2017. You can pop in and choose from 400 take-home wines – mostly from smaller producers, and there’s also beer for sale – but it’s also a bar. One half of the single-level store is fitted with racks and fridges lined with bottles, while the other half is a cosy neighbourhood wine bar, with an ornamental fireplace, an old wooden display cabinet and a retro globe with a whisky bottle and glasses hidden inside.
You can buy a bottle, pay corkage and park on a stool at the long countertop bar, or for a more intimate spot, there’s a window-facing bench.
There are 24 by-the-glass options on a menu that changes every month, including a three-wine degustation tasting option that Oeztan describes as “an exploratory flight.” There’s also charcuterie, cheese and antipasto to nibble on.
Wines are arranged by region or type (Rhône, Chablis; alternatives, “Chardy”), with Australian drops scattered among international equivalents.