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.   

Somms on a Boat// Madeleine Hayles

Somms on a Boat// Madeleine Hayles

Somms on a boat continue! We are so very happy to welcome internationally acclaimed water-baby and tanto-sommelier Madeleine Hayles to our crew for our first ever natural wine booze cruise, GW of the Caribbean. Madeleine has been a fixture at most GW parties, behind the bar or dancing up a storm with a raised chalice of cloudy elixir. 

madeleine 2.jpg

Top 5 things we love about Madeleine in no particular order and a little Q and A. 

1. her style is forever clare danes in my so called life aka everything.

2. she describes wine in arrestingly poetic ways that will make you feel like you can do anything. 

3. she will meet you anywhere, anytime to do any nice thing. the ultimate adventurous spirit and shower-upper.  

4. her cat willy will bite you, but you will nevertheless continue to love him. 

5. she will never let you go to bed. 

madeleine 3.jpg

name // madeleine hayles

job// sommelier at tanto

what do you most love about choosing nice wine for nice people? // i love sharing moments of curiosity and indulgence with people!  to be a little part of the times when they are sharing nice food and wine and a moment of happiness with people they love or maybe just like or maybe just feel obligated to be around for an evening and at least i can give them a pleasing beverage to ease the pain but hopefully just facilitate the pleasure.

favourite wine style of the moment // this is hard because i like mostly everything as long as it's not too heavy handed.  but in the dwindling dusk of my late twenties i am leaning into rose and it feels pretty good. fuck it! rose is just wine too! the cheaper the better! 

greatest misconception about your job you would like to set straight // i am not an expert! i'm just here to help! i might "know" more than you do about wine but i do not know more than you do about what you like.  i will never judge your taste or force you to drink something you don't want to. let's work together! i am a guide not a tyrant!!

greatest misconception about your job you would like to remain deliciously obscured// theoretically if i tell you this it will unobscure it?? let me keep a bit of mystery!

the title of your autobiography // 'blue chip but beautiful'

greatest boating experience you have had up to this point// i am a water baby and love boats and boating so this is hard.  maybe doing donuts at 3am in the middle of georgian bay w a margarita in my hand the other weekend.  that is probably both dangerous and illegal though so let's just pretend i never said that.

favourite wine to drink surrounded by water while floating// something bubbly! to match the buoyancy! maybe moscato d'asti cause it's sorta like soda pop for grown ups ("grown ups") but it's so good for hot sunny summer days n floaty water times.  or champagne.  is that answer too obvious?

outfit inspiration for august 20th// breaker high.  the nerdy dude in the bucket hat. expect puka shells.


Somms on a Boat// Lindsey King

Somms on a Boat// Lindsey King

Somms on a Boat// Adrienne Friesen

Somms on a Boat// Adrienne Friesen