First Natural Wine Bar opens in Vancouver

David Gunawan and Dara Young, co-owners of acclaimed locavore restaurant Farmer’s Apprentice, have officially uncorked an exciting new venture in Grapes & Soda — a unique wine bar experience where an array of natural, organic and biodynamic wines take pride of place with seasonally inspired small plates.

Now open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. as well as for private events, the 25-seat space is located next door to Farmer’s Apprentice at 1541 W. 6th Ave. and shares not only the same décor and spirit as its parent restaurant but also espouses the fresh, farm-to-table seasonality for which Farmer’s Apprentice has become known.

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Led by Farmer’s Apprentice GM and Sommelier Hao-Yang Wang and Manager Paul McCluskey as well as Chef Ron Shaw (former Bishop’s Executive Chef) and Bar Manager Satoshi Yonemori (formerly of Wildebeest and The Diamond), Grapes & Soda is a concept new to Vancouver — a wine bar focused on serving up thought-provoking dishes that complement an ever-changing assortment of noteworthy natural wines while also educating and informing the palate of each of its guests.

“We intended Grapes & Soda to function as a space where we could create a dialogue on how to pair natural and organic wines with great cuisine in a fun environment,” says Gunawan. “Instead of focusing on the ingredients, as we tend to do at Farmer’s Apprentice, here we focus on the wine, and create memorable dishes that bring out the subtle qualities of each wine with every bite.”

Beyond a menu featuring a range of savoury dishes paired with carefully cultivated wines available by the glass and bottle as well as a selection of snacks, cheeses and charcuterie, Grapes & Soda offers dessert plates paired with artisanal cocktails handcrafted by Yonemori. The wine bar also features happy hour specials with everything on Shaw’s food menu available for half-price from 5 to 6:30 p.m. each night.

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