Handpicked Wines plants its vinous roots within a renovated warehouse cum cellar door and tasting bar in Sydney’s ‘it’ neighbourhood, Chippendale.

Behind a façade of expansive windows cut into a scrubbed brick frontage, the high-ceilinged warehouse within the original Carlton & United Brewery site in Kensington Street re-launches as a sophisticated wine lounge and retail venture.

In collaboration with leading Melbourne-based studio, DesignOffice, the original interior walls were stripped back and layered – together with the floor – with a palette of timber, metal, leather, rubber, polished concrete and granite, demonstrating a modern, unadorned luxury for the flagship cellar door.

Custom-built floor to ceiling American Oak joinery wraps around the perimeter of the room housing glass-fronted refrigeration units and backlit angled merchandising shelves lined with bottles emitting gold, amber and garnet hues (strikingly replicated by a single row of premium offerings along the street frontage). Butted against brusquely whitewashed brick walls and hand-finished with beeswax and oil for a natural sheen, they exude a traditional cellar vibe in conjunction with the stained Spotted Gum flooring and custom-built vaulted ceiling feature towards the rear comprising arched Valchromat.

Under a perforated mill-finished aluminium sheet rigged beneath the ceiling, secured feature lighting illuminates freestanding modular units anchoring the floor space. With the dual purpose of storing and displaying bottles, feature details include hand-cut dowels lined with Portuguese cork to secure each bottle with uniform precision, plus solid Oak trays and slick white Corian inlaid beside them for service purposes. Clad in shimmering galvanised steel and housing interactive technology to further enhance visitors’ wine experiences, these elements allude to the space’s contemporary cross function.

Additional custom-crafted and polished details include raised curved counters with mis-matched and rotated American Oak surfaces replicating a trapezoid pattern to accommodate wine tasting sessions with sommeliers. Beyond the main lounge area, guests are welcomed to the Experience Room where a vaulted ceiling and hand-applied stucco walls usher an intimate tasting environment to sample wine directly from stainless steel tanks resting upon functional black Forbo rubber flooring.

Also see The Old Clare Hotel and Kensington Street Social restaurant in Chippendale for additional adaptive re-uses of the original brewery site by Élan on the Commercial Fitouts page.

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