The founders behind Grieve Family Winery and A&C Ventures approached their newest project, Squalo Vino, the same way they approach their novel Sauvignon Blanc from Napa’s Lovall Valley: honoring long-held, hand-forged traditions with a seamless reciprocation of new world elevation. Though it started as an exclusive tasting room, it became clear that the owners’ appreciation of profoundly expressive wines reached beyond their own portfolio, and they were ready to share their passion with the Tiburon community.
Main Street Tiburon is known for its historic and charming appeal, and so the designers took great care to honor this context while delivering natural warmth and modern sophistication. At just 600 square feet, every detail of this wine bar had to be considered to optimize for the flexibility of varying group sizes and maximize every opportunity for storage, going so far as to make them design features with the custom retail wall and wine bottle display. The exterior was restored according to traditional specifications and finished using mandated Benjamin Moore’s line of historical colors. However, modernity can be seen in playful presentations of the signage and window decals that feature Squalo Vino’s exuberant shark motif, a tribute to the city of Tiburon.
The concept for Squalo Vino’s aesthetic was born from a desire for authenticity in every form. Just as wine serves as a true expression of the grapes and terroir of their origin, every surface is a textural story of the raw materiality: industrial steel, brass, and stone juxtaposed against warm, multi-toned wood with striking grain patterns. The furniture spotlights a mix of nubby wools, crushed velvet and cork, best featured by the mobile-natured Vitra stools: a nod to wine stoppers and meant, over time, to collect wine stains that speak to many evenings of sincere conversation surrounded by friends.