We are Nicole & Krysta, The Grape Witches.  We are obsessed with flavour, story telling and natural wine. We throw monthly natural wine events and educational seminars big and small in Toronto. Join us.   



rose all day, loire adventures, and other helpful tips!

Hello Sweet Coven,

The sun is shining. Heavy machinery rips up Queen & Dunn and we are wearing our shortest shorts (nicole!) and flowiest long-shirts-masquerading-as-dresses (krysta!).

We have much to update you on. 

Let's start with the future. Our next party fast approaches. MONDAY JUNE 12th. Midfield. 8 pm - 1 am. No cover. All the rosé. 

A background. 

We really love rose, we always have, if we didn't distrust absolutes, we'd say we always would. Regardless of whether they are made from a light maceration of red grape-skins with pressed juice (wine tie die!) or a bleeding off of a red wine early in fermentation - to concentrate the red wine remaining and have a deliciously pink offspring - roses tend to spread joy. Rose is the runt of the wine litter, easy to forget amongst wine lists deep in salty whites and party reds, but never count her out. She is full of many things to say, quietly. Did she paint by the water every summer, eschewing cliquey summer camp with its unspoken social rules, unpleasingly rough sports and smelly singlets? Did she study philosophy in montreal only to drop-out after the second-semester, jaded and proceed to accept a parade of older lovers before she eventually realized her own soft, deep power, rooted not in the purported wisdom of others - siphoned by perceived intimacy -  but the thoughtfulness of her own soul. Bigger is not better, she whispered, inaudibly. A flower of the same name won't always spread rumours on the FLAURA FAUNA SPRING-SUMMER group-chat, she continued, to herself. The conversation continues aloud at our sold out Education Hour this coming Monday.

What is not sold out is the main party. We have decided to use the summer to be playful and let ourselves be enveloped by our crushes. First up is - duh - ROSE. We are dedicating our entire June party to its in-between charm, its misfit gaze. We have teamed up with the babes at Midfield to take over their dream paradise for a rose-coloured night. We will feature 8 roses from all over the place: Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Ontario and Krysta's suitcase (she is in the sky coming home from Greece RIGHT NOW!). 

Join us. We have some very special guests. Brendan Canning is fresh from his Broken Social Scene European tour and is bringing his accent aigus to our rented turn tables and owned questionable, but enthusiastic rhythm.  

We have also tricked one of the most inspiring Toronto dream duos the Broadbent Sisters to transform our space into a rose oasis. They are magical art creatures on a mission to make us all be slower, pay attention, lose ourselves and only eat golden bread. We will lend them our velvet and allow them to take our hearts for a journey.

Other things! 

We had a really, really great time in the Loire last month. The Loire is a magical wine region in central France along the Loire River known for its deliciously confusing wines (many different regions, soils and microclimates!), very good goat cheese (mmmmmm Chavignol!) & insanely beautiful castles. Here is one we slept in! Air bnb is amazing! 

We spent a week exploring with one of our favourite sommeliers Lexi Wolkowski and inspiring journalist and thoughtful friend Jamie Goode. Go drink things from Lexi's excellent program at Bar Raval & read about Jamie's never-ending wine travel adventures on his site.

We started in London, headed to Paris then drove the length of the appellation from Sancerre in the west to Nantes 392 kilometers away. We will simply need to do a LOIRE themed party to share the amazing things we learned and learned we did not know and voraciously read more about. Here is a photo of our crew from left to right// Lexi, Keenan - who joined us for a night and works in wine in Berlin - Krysta, Jamie and the energy of Nicole stealing all of these cool-ass band-looks and a single smile (thanks keen!). 

Some highlights and places to go on your next trip:

London: stay in east London, cheap air bnbs, close to all the coolest natural wine spots and the tube makes everything easy if you stay for more than 20 hours and actually want to I DONT KNOW see some stuff other than the coolest wine spots and vibrant neighbourhoods. The access the UK has to Europe and her incredible wines makes these lists electric. It's so hard to choose which amazing wines to try and it is best to pretend the pounds are canadian dollars and get the cool staff to take you on an adventure. 

Spots we went to and loved Noble Rot, Sager & Wild & The Laughing Heart. We wish we had time for a million more, but these were perfect. 

Paris: we took the train from London to Paris complete with champagne in plastic cups and extremely un-PC conversations before lunch that maybe our train companions didn't like, but seemed pretty normal to us. Oops! The train was awesome and so much more chill than taking a flight. 

We arrived at the most BIZARRE huge airbnb in the 11th (ugh, we love the 11th) and proceeded to walk to Buvette - a wicked wine store - to buy everything. We meandered our way to Canal Saint Martin, which is an oasis of humans enjoying life by the water. A perfect place to spend a day alone, with friends or smiling at strangers. The only thing it was missing was more dogs, but no place is perfect. Magic energy. 

Our airbnb had its own private indoor garden!

After deep, joyful naps we headed to Clown Bar, a cool-kids natural wine restaurant with no clowns. We were instantly charmed by our wild server Mees, a Dutch-born firecracker who sent us many delicious wines we took photos of and blinked hard at, to confirm we were not dreaming. Look at this wizard bottle!

During one of the later bottles we revealed our trip plans and obviously invited her along. She said yes. We laughed and then realized she was maybe serious and we cackled with joy. We estimated the probability of her actually coming was 4% - we were leaving at 8 am the next day! - but were seriously impressed when she texted at 7:30 asking if the spot was still open. Wine brings people together (through passion and inebriation!) and boy did we meet the sweetest Dutch Witch. Mees made jokes, told us Paris gossip and helped us remember our rusty French over a night in a castle in Amboise. Soooooo much fun. Hi Mees! We will kidnap each other again! xoxox

We will save the geography lesson, for our LOIRE EDUCATION HOUR, but the places we went and loved + a little photo essay.

Happiness in Amboise: Nicole in Clown Pants. 
Falling in love with everything at Puzelat.

Learning about Chenin in Montlouis with wizard king Jackie Blot. 
Beautiful organic vineyards of Vincent Careme in Vouvray.
We loved everything at Clos de Nell in Anjou.Particularly master-chef/ winemaker Sylvain and GM Christian. Can you sense their goodness?
The wines of Francois Saint Lo were such fire. Natural, punk (seriously) paradise. Hope to have these at future events. SO GREAT. Thankful to Ten Bells in NYC for pouring us this producer when we tried to order something else, beginning our love affair. 
Pilgrimage to Virginie and Nicolas Joly at Coulée de Serant in Savennières. Are satellite waves ruining agriculture?! You'll have to visit to find out! Also Virginie's baby <3
Then east to Monnieres for a sweet visit with biodynamic Muscadet producer Vincent Caille. We loved his methode ancestrale bubbles, easy, shy smile and surprising love of metal. The tres populaire Hell Fest happens in near-by Clisson every year! Wow! 
Because we are crazy we spent our last night in Versailles seeing an Opera Atelier performance with our dear friend and talented violinist Edwin Huizinga. Here are Jamie and Edwin in front of the palace! 
Ask us for all the secrets in-between this coming Monday at Midfield. :) 

xo Nicole + Krysta 

The Coven: Charlotte Langley

The Coven: Charlotte Langley