Educational bottle-o’s particularly specialising in Australian boutique drops are not the kind of thing our Mexican southern cousins seem to have cottoned onto just yet, but Wine Guy Darren Davis seems to be onto a good thing in Queensland. Following the success of Grape Therapy City on Adelaide Street, he brings a Grape Therapy Valley version to Wickham Street with its educational and tasting concept of boutique wines – be it from the glass or the bottle. From the city, Grape Therapy has long established itself as the place to be on a Friday afternoon with glasses of wine enjoyed amongst the chesterfield lounges set to a soundtrack of classic jazz tracks. Differing to the classy subterranean descent into an expansiveness of leather lounges and wooden floors in the city, the Valley retains a quirky and edgy character of raw brick enhanced by timbers, woods and urbane concrete; with a rustic backroom serving as an intimate entertainment and dining space and an open courtyard offset by antique chandeliers and high pressed metal ceilings. It’s a look and approach fitting to the contempo area of the valley.
Home to more than 200 varieties, the selections are amongst the best in the world with new and vintage stock sourced from boutique producers. Grape Therapy also makes wine available for purchase online or onsite by the glass or bottle from staff who are passionately informed. Stocking labels from Aramis to Rockford, Soul Growers and more, it’s often difficult to land some of these wines outside of their cellar doors or vineyard, with few pubs and restaurants in Brisbane even stocking them. If Darren Davis stocks it, he’s walked their vineyards – often a few days before the bottles appear on his shelves. He is intimate with the people, the processes and the varieties – much like the family uncle. Grape Therapy’s wines are not the $10 specials from the commercial liquor supermarket chains: it is about making great wines available at great prices – there are no sales here, only special offers. With cheese and charcuterie sourced from Black Epicure for platters and tastings alongside on and off-site long lunches, Grape Therapy events are ideal team building exercises – whether for colleagues, family or friends – where the quaint quirky character is as distinct as the wines they sell. It’s an education to both the palate and the wallet.
Grape Therapy Valley
153 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley