Twenty feet underground at the corner of Richmond and Bay is the just-opened Wine Academy, the splashiest entrant on the wine club scene. The 6,000-square-foot industrial-chic sprawler is designed to be a private club as well as a wine geek’s haven.
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Wine Academy’s Managing Partner and Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe shows us the best wine and food pairings for the perfect party to celebrate the Olympic closing ceremony.
Members are meant to mostly bring their own wine — which they can store in humidity-controlled lockers — but the venue has applied for a liquor licence to offer cocktails and by-the-glass wine from an Enomatic. Sommelier Natalie Pope is on hand to offer expertise and to host wine tastings.
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Slattery and Velev’s response to these needs has been to build a 6,000 square foot underground facility with 1,122 storage lockers, each capable of holding 92 bottles of wine. Using a state of the art HVAC system, the Wine Academy maintains a constant temperature of 12.5 degrees Celsius.
This 6,000-square-foot space is tucked almost 20 feet underground. Guests can access the subterranean spot through a nondescript wooden door: members simply press their thumbs onto the biometrics scanner to gain access to the 24-7 establishment. Once inside, they have access to a lounge, a library, a boardroom and business centre and, of course, a bar.