At a time when people are craving connection and overseas holidays have been put on hold, Vini Divini Wine Lab is bringing people together to celebrate the simple pleasures, spark conversations and transport oneself to the sweet life – ‘la dolce vita’ – with the opening of this small Mediterranean wine bar.
Close relationships with friends and family, and the interactions one has in a community, are central to the Mediterranean lifestyle – and this was very important to our concept. At the heart of Vini Divini is a large central bar, reminiscent of a large kitchen bench in your home, where our owner, Philippe Gilbert, personally brings people together to laugh, pour wine, break bread and share stories or ideas.
We aim to evoke a sense of place through our purposeful curation and rich variety of our menu, immersing oneself in the smells, tastes and pleasures of Italy, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco and other Mediterranean gems. (Fun Fact: not many people realise that wine originated in Greece – or that countries like Israel, Lebanon or Tunisia are part of the Mediterranean (in fact, there are 22 countries!)).
Philippe’s desire to bring people together in these unprecedented times and share his passion for the Mediterranean lifestyle and culture is in his blood. Emigrating to Belgium from Italy during WWI, Philippe’s great-grandmother opened the first Italian speciality delicatessen in Antwerp in 1940. Philippe’s other great-grandmother who also emigrated from Italy during WWI launched the first Italian gelato cart in Brussels in the 1930s. Both these women brought so much joy to so many children and adults alike during these dark years in European history.
Building on his own heritage and passion, Philippe has spent time in Brussels, New York City, France and Greece deepening his understanding of and passion for people, wine, food, culture and language. Now he’s ready to bring all he’s learned and experienced to Sydney.
It’s important to Philippe that while we are inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle, we must celebrate our own Australian terroir and the people who have evolved traditions and methods to create high quality wine and produce. We therefore feature many of our favourite local winemakers and only use the highest quality local ingredients.
In true Mediterranean style, this is a family business. Philippe has brought his vision to life with the unwavering love, passion and brains of his Australian wife, Hannah, and their baby daughter, Fleur.