Proud Toronto oenophiles (like us) have been fans of Paradise Grapevine’s vibrant wine bar on Bloor St. for years. Its vast selection, ample greenery and great energy have pushed it up there with the city's best wine bars. Now, their newly opened second location at Geary and Dufferin isn’t just a place to swirl and sip a glass — it’s also a fully functional, indoor and outdoor winery.
For co-owners David Everitt and Christian Davis, being able to ferment, blend and bottle vino in a space all their own is a dream that’s been years in the making. Equal parts winery and neighbourhood wine bar, it’s unique in the city due to a shortage of properties with adequate square footage, says Everitt. “If you think about it, [Geary Avenue] is one of the few downtown industrial sites,” he muses. “It’s really, truly difficult to find a place to manufacture that’s [also] residential.”
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Step inside and Paradise Grapevine’s somewhat peculiar location (across from auto shops and a faded red furniture store) melts away as you’re surrounded by merry conversation, clinking wine glasses and the smoky aroma of the wood fire grill. It’s a lively spot, and it’s just getting started.
There are big things on the horizon for these Toronto winemakers now that they have a space large enough to make their own wine. “The idea of the winery site is to focus on our own products,” explains Everitt, voice laden with excitement. “We want the winery to shine a light on some of the special smaller releases, [we want it to be] somewhere for wine-heads to come and taste single batch things … We want to be really experimental with what we do.”
Paradise Grapevine: Back of the house winery
Resembling a brewpub more than a traditional winery, patrons can indulge in special by-the-glass releases, single barrel wines and more exclusives, all sourced from gleaming tanks tucked just behind the patio.
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Paradise Grapevine: Bar
Paradise Grapevine's wines dominate the menu, including their Niagara ‘Nightcall’ Zweigelt and 2021 Riesling. Bar snacks are available, but during the summer months, enjoy wood-fire grilled meals on the patio.
Paradise Grapevine: Bottles
An enormous selection of wine awaits in Paradise Grapevine’s online shop, but only at the winery will you find exclusive bottle drops. Announced via Instagram, rush over to grab one before they sell out.