The Grand Opening of Le Vignoble – Love the Vine – Wine Lounge & Retailer
There’s a new watering-hole in town – a “self-service wine” watering hole. It was the grand opening of Le Vignoble (a wine lounge & retailer) a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to attend the preview and launch party and trust me, it’s worth a visit.
Remember that feeling you had looking at the pick’n’mix when you were a kid, well I had that same excited feeling looking at the enomatic wine machines at Le Vignoble.
Pick’n’mix – just an adult version, with wine!!
If you wanted you could have a taster of every single wine!
This wine bar is like no other I have been too before. The super trendy enomatic dispensing system is set up with a large selection of wines to choose from.
Yannick Loué, co-founder of Le Vignoble started the company in Plymouth in 2011. They opened their first lounge/retail store in Royal William Yard in Plymouth. Six years later, after the success of their innovative concept of a self-service wine lounge, Yannick brought it to Bath.
Located in Milsom Place (opposite Hunter & Sons), this is the perfect wine oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The space is light and open so you can still watch the passers by whilst you sip on a selection of high quality wines.
Le Vignoble, which means ‘the vineyard’ in French
So, how it works!
There are six dispensing cabinets in the lounge with a variety of different wines. You can see the bottle inside and below, in front of the (let’s call it) “WINE MACHINE”, there are tasting notes about each wine.
They change the wine in the dispensers monthly.
You can walk around to each dispenser, looking at the wines available and reading the tasting notes. It’s as if you are taking yourself on your own little wine tour. Nearly all the bottles offer a tasting option. You can get a shots worth (25ml) of wine in your glass starting from 60p – £8.70. This option gives you the opportunity to taste all the wines in the wine dispensers – a “try before you buy” experience. It’s a great idea!
Sizes available – 25ml Taster, 125ml, 175ml
For someone who isn’t a big RED wine drinker, I loved this idea. I can taste multiple red wines to find the right one for me.
Le Vignoble Cards
You can only use Le Vignoble cards when you use the wine dispensers (using your credit/debit card would probably be quite dangerous wouldn’t it!? Haha).
Card Option 1: The Tab Card
A card for you and your friends to use throughout your visit and paying the amount at the end of your wine lounge experience. There’s no limit!
Card Option 2: The Top-Up Card
This is your own personal, private Le Vignoble wine card. Top-up with £5 or more and use this card without settling up a bill at the end of the night. This card makes you feel like you aren’t spending money at all (clever/dangerous idea) but it’s great as you can take this card away with you and can use it on each visit.
In order to get a Top-Up card you must put a minimum of £5 on the card. Money on the card is available for 1 year and can also be used at their wine lounge in Plymouth.
The reason I preferred this card over the Tab Card is because it keeps track of what wines you have tried throughout your visit. On your next visit you can be reminded what wine you tried, simply by asking them to check your card history.
Why Le Vignoble is different?
WINE TASTING DOESN’T NEED TO BE “SNOBBY”
Yannick explained that he wanted to create a wine lounge that was welcoming and friendly, open to those who may not know a lot about wine. Their brand ethos is to appeal to new and experienced wine drinkers, and stepping away from “wine snobbiness”. He reminded us that wine is produced by farmers (and there is no snobbiness in that side of the production) therefore since the wine makers aren’t snobby about their wine means that the enjoyment of wine shouldn’t be pretentious or elitist either.
They focus primarily on small producers and unusual wines. The staff are happy to talk about the story behind each wine (they have 300 wines available!).
Why you need to visit!
You become your own wine connoisseur!
This is the perfect place for a date. Fancy, in the sense you are going out to drink good quality wine, but a friendly environment to feel relaxed and chilled. The self-serving concept it also a great talking point for any “first date awkward silences’.
It’s a fun place to visit whether you’re a couple or group of friends. You can try any wine you like and don’t have to make a commitment to drinking one wine; it gives everyone the opportunity to be their own wine conisseur.
The staff are there to help you, give you recommendations of wines you might like and knowledge about where the wines comes from. But, if you would prefer to discover and build your wine tasting knowledge yourself, that’s fine! You are given free range of all their wine dispensers and can expand your own wine knowledge by reading the tasting notes and sipping on tasters.
As mentioned before, this all lends itself to their ethos, stepping away from “snobby wine talk” and instead, focusing on your individual taste and palet.
A selection of charcuterie, cheeses and nibbles are on offer, to accompany your wine.
- Le Vignoble will be offering a variety of events such as “Meet The Winemaker” and themed food and wine nights (see Plymouths list of events for examples of what’s to come to Bath)
- There will be weekly talks about the wine industry/where it’s made/how to discover wine/how to drink it.
- Private wine tastings sessions available.
- Mégane, the manager of the Bath store is French and a champagne/sparkling wine expert.
- And if you are interesting in developing your knowledge even further, Le Vignoble offer WSET qualifications such as the Level 1 Award in Wines (QFC) & Level 2 course in Wines and Spirits.
Le Vignoble has so many things to offer, whether you want it to be your casual Friday night spot for a drink and nibbles OR if you want to learn more and expand your knowledge of wine. It’s an sleek, relaxed wine lounge that will definitely become one of the go-to wine bars in the city. I highly recommend a visit if you want a fun (and affordable) wine tasting experience.
Thank you to Yannick and all the lovely staff at Le Vignoble for a great party and for being so friendly. And thank you to Madeleine at CoCo PR for the invitation!
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 12:00 – 23.00 / Friday & Saturday 12:00 – 00:00 / Sunday 12.00 – 23:00
12/13 Milsom Place
t: +44(0) 1225 465907