London designers Studio Toogood have created a temporary wine bar in Sydney where guests are invited to select their vintage by smelling scented totem poles. Trained wine stewards guide the visitors around each of the five wooden poles, as well as past a series of glass display cabinets where objects and imagery represent a palette of different flavours.
Next, each guest is led to a table where a group of spherical lamps representing grapes are bunched overhead behind wire netting.
A collection of hand-cast aluminium chairs from Faye Toogood’s Spade range provides seating. The bar is positioned at the centre of the room, surrounded by sausage-like sofas.
After five weeks, the bar will relocate to a second venue in Melbourne.
One of the worldʼs most sought-after wine brands, Penfolds, is collaborating with renowned London-based designers Studio Toogood to create an ambitious multi- sensory environment dedicated to wine. Designed to demystify the process of vinification, THE BLOCKS encourages visitors to discover and awaken their palate using sight, touch, smell and taste.
Studio Toogoodʼs first installation outside Europe will initially be unveiled in Australia on the 16th March in Sydneyʼs last remaining undeveloped, historic wharf building: Pier 2/3.
This three week event will then travel to Melbourne in late July.
Upon entering THE BLOCKS, visitors will be greeted by trained sommeliers – ʻThe Nosesʼ – who will take guests on a journey through five imperious wooden totems. Inspired in form by the five groups of grapes available for tasting – and impregnated with different bespoke scents produced in conjunction with a perfumer for the event – the totems have been designed to guide guests to select the appropriate wines to suit their personal palate.
Not content with stimulating the nose, Studio Toogood asks guests to drink with their eyes by revealing glass cabinets filled with highly visual, poetic interpretations of the terminology normally associated with describing wine by five emerging Australian artists and designers. Once inside the installation, guests will be able to indulge in Penfolds Bin and Luxury wines, complemented by locally foraged and seasonal tastes designed by Executive Chef Jock Zonfrillo (Magill Estate).
To complete this gastronomic experience, guests will be seated under canopies of illuminated glass grapes on Faye Toogoodʼs iconic ʻSpadeʼ chairs.
Hand-cast from raw aluminium specifically for the event, the ʻSpade Chair / Naked Aluminiumʼ is cold to the touch, reminding guests of their cellar-like experience.