About us

Grape Witches has evolved into a store, a patio, an online shop, an event space, a wine agency & a wine club! How did we get here? It started slowly.

Who We Are

Industry Veterans on a Mission

We began as, and always will be, industry veterans on a mission. Founded in 2015, Grape Witches began as a series of parties and educational events pouring the rare and delicious organic, biodynamic and natural wine we loved. The dream? To share the incredible flavours, places and people that made us work in wine - without the traditional stuffy attitude. Fast forward through a few hundred parties big and small; from geeky winemaker events to sweaty dance parties to the world's largest natural wine booze cruise (yes, actually!!), and you'll find us on March 7th 2020 (lol) signing the lease to our first space and launching our natural wine agency, Grape Witch Imports.

Where We're Going

Grape Witches is now an incredible team of people working to make natural wine approachable & available like never before. We are a bustling natural wine store with over 200 constantly rotating wines in store and online. We are Dundas West's cutest back patio - complete with functioning fountain (!). We are an exciting natural wine agency, representing 25 of our favourite wineries directly. And we are Ontario's most unique Wine Club, offering a fully customizable and expertly curated six-pack each month at various price points. And yes, we still love events! Find out more about our entire team below. 

We are a proud to be a certified Ontario Living Wage employer

Our Services

GW Imports

Representing some of the best, most unique small producers and bringing them directly to you, Ontario!

Tell Me More
Events

On the patio, in the Salon, at your nice place or ours - let us pour you nice wine for any occasion.

Yes Please
Shop

Visit us at 1247 Dundas St W to browse over 200 natural wines with our knowledgable & friendly staff.

See You Soon
Wine Club

The only fully customizable natural Wine Club. The ultimate way to discover your new favourites.

Sign Me Up

Our People

Rachel Matthews

Shop

Rachel spent years in boring office jobs before realizing that she enjoys people more than computers, and ambient lighting over fluorescent. Along with a passion for all things delicious, restaurants were the natural go-to. Working at Tennessee Tavern and Paris Paris she was introduced to the world of natural wine. Rachel passed her WSET Diploma in 2020 and is happy to be in the world of (mostly!) un-testable wines. She makes everyone feel welcome in the shop, and loves helping people discover their new fav. Please bring your dogs, and listen to her gush about her two elderly kitties.

Marlo Yarlo

Creative Director

Full time creative director and artiste at large, part time silly goose. Marlo lends an eye to all things visual and tactile at Grape Witches, from art direction to illustration to web design to packaging to raising vibes. She’s the whiz behind the visuals at Van der Pop (Tokyo Smoke Brands) and proud designer of the Blackbird Baking Co. logo, with a long career of being very serious and passionate about image-making. She is the mother of a trembling greyhound-ish mutt named Poco and loves to practice magic both grape-related and otherwise. Get to know her more via Instagram.

Jaby Dayle

Scholarship Development

Jaby tries to live by the mantra “it ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none!” Having spent years working on both sides of the line, Jaby is now putting their considerable energies towards sharing their love of wine with as many humans as possible. With the love, guidance, and support of many a fine folk they’ve done all kinds of courses (including Somme Factory and WSETs assorted) and worked at a couple of the cutest wine spots in the city :) Feel free to hit them up to chat about wine, ferment revolution, get hella silly, or a happy mixture of all three!

Vidal Wu

Communications & Community

Vidal was writing freelance when he realized that writing doesn’t pay the bills so he jumped headfirst into restaurants and never looked back! Working his way up at Grey Gardens and much-beloved Donna’s, Vidal discovered his love for wine and became determined to soak up as much know-how as possible, enrolling himself in Somm Factory and WSETs. With his wealth of experience as a former fraternity president, Barb and writer, Vidal hopes to make amazing wine accessible for everyone. You can find Vidal with our resident shop dog, Audrey, in tow.

Rachelle 'Ro' Sabourin

Events, Logistics & Partnerships

Rachelle, commonly known as Ro, which is confusing (she didn't choose this life, okay) has lived many lives in many industries. At heart, she's a wine and food-loving art historian, Certified Cat Lady™️ and surprisingly organized Leo (shout out Virgo rising). After completing her MA at OCAD U, Ro knew that she had found the perfect combination of good-times and fast-times in the wild world of wine. Ro produces events, tackles logistics, plans all the plans and connects with our clients over cat photos.

Lorein 'Lo' Codiamat

General Manager

If you spend time out in Toronto’s west end, chances are you’ve been served by Lorein. Refining her craft at Harbord Room (RIP!), Cocktail Bar, and, most recently as AGM at Grey Gardens, at Grape Witches she braids her passion for fashion, design and all things beautiful. Whether you want to discuss decor, non-traditional tasting notes or which bottle to choose to impress your new boo’s parents, Lo has got you covered.

Adrienne Friesen

Licensee Manager

Adrienne started her career in advertising agencies before falling in love with wine. After stints at Alo and La Banane and being an event assistant in the early Grape Witches days, she's now been selling wine to Ontario’s best restaurants for five years. Adrienne is a certified sommelier and WSET Diploma candidate and recently completed her first harvest internship at Forlorn Hope in California. A former competitive swimmer, she spends her free time in the pool, running and hiking trails.

Nicole Raufeisen

Operations & Imports

In a past life as one half of a collaborative artist duo, Nicole accepted nice wine as payment for house sitting gigs. Fifteen years - and an MFA in sculpture - later, she committed to wine professionally. She was most recently co-owner and GM of Little Oak Bar (RIP) & The Ostrich Club restaurants in Halifax and has recently moved to Toronto in a continued effort to chase nice wines. Her passions include nerding out on international logistics, pretending she’s handy (ChefTech ™) and besting her personal record of most wine cases moved in a day.

Nicole Campbell

Co-Founder & Director

Nicole has been working in wine a really long time. Over a decade at one of Canada’s top wine agencies she sold wine to the best restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver and led the creation of a national natural wine division. She has been lucky to make wine in France & Australia, travel to many nice wine regions & completed her (frankly grueling) WSET Diploma in 2015. She started GW as a passion project & is freakin’ delighted to watch it bloom. Wearer of many figurative hats and literal fun pants.

Krysta Oben

Co-Founder

Krysta started Grape Witches with Nicole VERY late at night, when all the most fun ideas happen! She has spent a *redacted* amount of time working as a sommelier, curating the wine lists and pouring wine into glasses at some of Toronto’s very best restaurants and bars. These days, find her planning trips in search of thrilling wine and beautiful vineyards, writing the wine list at Paris Paris, and in the GW shop & salon asking you questions about what you are in the mood to drink. Please send her photos of your pets.

Featured in

Colophon

Site Credits

Strategy, Web Design, Development & Integrations: Plot Studio

Creative Direction, Illustration & Web Design: Marlo Yarlo

Product Photography: Jessica Blaine Smith

Interior Photography: Arden Wray & Justin M. Yong

Advent Art Direction & Photography: Dani Reynolds

Land Acknowledgment

Grape Witches exists within a settler-colonial state and we acknowledge the role that businesses play in supporting change in our community.

We are committed to dismantling the systemic barriers experienced by marginalized people in our industry and promoting organizations that share our commitment to social and environmental justice.

With thanks to Courtney Skye.