Vincent Derquenne’s love of wine is well-known around Charlottesville. When industry folks get together to share wines, Derquenne often shows up with bottles that blow away even the most serious oenophiles. While he seems to have encyclopedic knowledge and a knack for finding special wines, to enjoy them you have to be lucky enough to attend one of the private gatherings with Derquenne.
Enter Crush Pad Wines, a new wine bar and shop that brings some of Derquenne’s favorites to the masses. And it’s not just Derquenne. His wine team includes GM and Certified Sommelier Rachel Gendreau, as well industry veterans Tom Walters (Foods of All Nations) and Wes McCullen (DS Trading Co.).
Directly across the Downtown Mall from Bizou, the former home to J. Fenton Gifts has been transformed into a sleek and comfortable space for drinking and shopping. A long bar with green leather stools lines one side of the room, while shelves of wine bottles line the other.
There will be food, too. With Tim Burgess, Derquenne is one half of the trailblazing duo whose Metropolitain restaurant transformed Charlottesville dining. They now own Bizou, Bang!, Luce, and The Space. Crush Pad Wines will offer a menu of small plates and other bites designed to enjoy with wine, including another Derquenne specialty, house-made charcuterie.
The retail shop is now open, with food and beverage service starting later this month.