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Healesville’s Barrique Wine Store gets new owners and big summer plans

Words by Gwen O'Toole
Images supplied

Mike and Claire Emmett have been providing packaging design and photography services to Victorian small winemakers, brewers and distillers for 20-plus years. Their latest venture sees them take the reins of Barrique Wine Store, an iconic bottle shop in the centre of Healesville.

The proudly-independent boutique shop is set amid Healesville’s cafes and shopping and makes finding that perfect bottle so much easier. With more than 400 bottles of local wines, imported wines, craft beers, and locally distilled as well as imported spirits, you’re just as likely to find a new favourite as you are to finally find that obscure craft beer you just can’t find anywhere else.

What was once an ice cream shop has been transformed into a bottle shop where visitors are encouraged to browse and get inspired by something new. Previous owners Brendon Chandler and Simone Knight took ownership of Barrique, assisting in keeping Victorians in good spirits (no pun intended) during Victoria’s COVID lockdowns.

“They served the locals quite well with the 5km limit and free delivery,” says the new owner of Barrique Wine Store, Mike Emmett who together with partner Claire, has now taken the reins as Brendon begins a new venture with the launch of wine label Ruby K.

Mike, whose been a regular photographer for One Hour Out since its beginnings in 2018 will be using his well-honed skills in photography, publishing and design within the wine industry to become a liaison between wineries, winemakers and wine lovers helping them find the perfect drop by “telling great stories”.

“Not so much the technical side of wine but the stories behind it and why people make wine,” he adds. “Local winemakers have been super supportive, not just because they want their wines on the shelves but I want their wines on the shelves so I can tell their stories.”

The new space, which Mike calls “a wine store with a wine bar feel” also offers an excellent spot for tasting events every Friday, allowing punters to discover something new every time they visit. Friday tasting wines are listed out for the week allowing shoppers to taste them throughout the week so that even if they can’t make a Friday night, they won’t ever need to miss out on the tasting.

Mike and Claire have renovated the shop to create a wine bar atmosphere that’s inviting and encourages patrons to sit and enjoy a drink, all “centred around the Yarra Valley and the people who make amazing wines here.”

You can sit right in the window and have a glass of wine anytime we’re open.

Mike says adding that when the garden renovations at the rear of the shop are complete early next year that space will also be available for tastings and just enjoying a glass of wine in the summer sunshine. With plans to offer locally sourced food also on the menu in partnership with local eateries, it’ll no doubt continue to be a local favourite.

The Details

What: Wine store
Where: 260 Maroondah Highway, Healesville
When: Now open
More Info: Barrique Wine Store

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
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