A new independent London wine bar, restaurant and shop called Lady of the Grapes will open in Covent Garden next month — a project with a particular MO: at least 60 percent of the listed wines will have been produced by female winemakers.
The bar, which will open on the site formerly occupied by Spanish restaurant Encant on Maiden Lane, in mid July is owned by Carole Bryon, from Paris, who believes women remain hugely under represented in the wine industry.
“When I first started in the industry I realised there were not a lot of women so I want to support all women in wine from the vineyard to the shop,” she said. She has long dreamed of owning her own wine bar.
“I want to champion women in the wine trade and make them more visible through our wine list, because it’s not just men who make wine,” she added.
The 29-cover site will offer a list featuring 80 wines, 15 of which will be available by the glass — and all of which will be organic, biodynamic or natural.
“It’s important to offer transparency with what is in wine. For me, it’s the taste which is important and I love it when a winemaker respects the appellation. Organic, biodynamic and natural wines are healthier for the people drinking it and for the producer making it,” Bryon argues. She “believes the complex and fascinating flavours of wine are impossible to achieve via conventional wine-making methods.”
Previous to this, she worked as an art director at an advertising agency before running The Grocery Wine Vault — the wine division of an organic grocery shop in Shoreditch — for two years.
The food menu has been designed by chef-restaurateur Victor Garvey, owner of Soho’s Catalan review-magnet Rambla and wine bar Sibarita in Covent Garden. (He was also the chef-patron of Encant, whose site Lady of the Grapes has taken.) Garvey says that while not everything served will be certified organic, “it will be more so than anything I’ve done so far.”
The deli will sell many of the wines to take away, as well as cheeses, charcuterie and “fine grocery products.” To coincide with today’s announcement, Lady of the Grapes has launched a crowdfunding campaign here.