Our Story

How it all started

"It all started with a dinner club and a trip to Copenhagen!  We are a group of friends that used to get together for a quarterly dinner club and the theme was always centered around a specific cultivar of wine.  Hanneli hosted that specific evening and the wine we all had to bring was Cinsault.  Dries and I decided to take this amazing old vine Cinsault from Kaapzicht, called 1952, and Hanneli happened to know the winemaker, Danie Steytler Junior.  She sent him a message telling him how much we all loved the wine and he replied with this sincere voice note telling us the story behind the wine and why it was really special to their family. That moment was the nucleus for Wijn.   Even though it was an amazing wine, that personal connection to the story behind the wine brought it to life!  We just thought it would be so amazing if everyone could have that experience - having direct access to the winemaker, hearing the story behind the wine from its maker and in that way learning more about wine and truly celebrating everything about the wine - not just the actual contents of the bottle. 
The next step that brought us closer to creating Wijn was a trip to Copenhagen.  Dries and I both visited Copenhagen on separate occasions and we were just so inspired by the city!  The design, the trendy bars and restaurants and the unique experience created by each one.  We came back and decided to start making Wijn a reality." - Sarette (co-founder)


What makes Wijn different

We believe that the main things that distinguish us is that through everything we do we aim to break down the barriers of wine and we aim to make wine more accessible.  The layout of the space, the fact that you can taste, drink and buy all the wines on our menu, the time we spend on finding amazing and hard to find wines, that you can come to Wijn and find new wines on the menu every week and that you can meet and chat to winemakers about their wine, whilst learning something new - we believe all of this works together to deliver a truly unique experience.  We are just wine lovers that wanted to create a space and community for other wine lovers!



The inspiration behind Wijn Bar's space

We wanted to create a trendy, yet homely space that breaks down the barriers of wine.  We tried to break down the traditional barriers by doing 3 things.  Firstly, we have an open wine counter (not a traditional bar counter) where you are served straight from the counter to your table or where you can get up, get your own glass and choose your own wine.  The idea behind this was to remove the physical barrier of the bar counter and the traditional wine list (where you don't see the wine) but to rather feel that you are sitting in someone's home and drinking directly from their wine selection.  Secondly, we created a wine wall above this counter where you can see the wine on the menu - one bottle of each wine.  Wine shelves in a wine shop is so intimidating - I never know where to start and what to buy!  We tried to change this with the wine wall by making it easy to take it all in with one glance.  Thirdly, we took inspiration from the German Beer Halls with 3 long tables seating 8 - 10 people and we decided to do high seating.  We wanted to do high seating because it's more informal and more social.   We  also loved the experience at German Beer Halls where strangers share a table and left at the end of the evening as friends - all because they shared a common love of beer!  We wanted to create that type of experience around wine!  


We can't wait to meet you at Wijn or to help you create your own Wijn Bar at home with the amazing selection of Homewijn you can shop right here!