Seattle is a city very near and dear to our hearts here at Sprudge. The coffee version of this website was founded on Capitol Hill a decade ago, and we’ve watched closely over the last two years as Seattle’s wine scene has continued to innovate in new and interesting ways. There’s still gallons of ghastly Walla Walla baby boomer cab sauv getting poured in this town, but for every skippable wine list there is a new and exciting project demanding our attention, at spots like L’Oursin, Jarrbar, and Vif.
Over the U District—my old stomping grounds, and oh, how I stomped—a revamped version of the charming Graduate Hotel comes bearing big plans on the food and dining side. This includes a Seattle edition of LA retro-nouveau Chinese spot Genghis Cohen, a rooftop bar with major views called The Mountaineering Club, and an all-day lobby cafe with big plans for an evening wine footprint. All three projects are overseen by LA restaurateurs Marc Rose and Med Abrous, whose Echo Park healthy foodie coffee hang Winsome has been featured previously on Sprudge.
All of this is enough to be excited, but when we heard those lobby wine plans would be overseen by Vin De California winemaker/@naturalwhine Instagram memestar/Natural Disasters podcast co-host Adam Vourvoulis, we just had to learn more. I spoke with Vourvoulis digitally from Los Angeles.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Hey Adam, thanks for talking with Sprudge Wine. First, tell us more about your role in the project—what’s your gig at The Graduate?
I guess you would say consultant. I’m not a huge fan of that term, but it fits. Marc and Med are friends of mine from Los Angeles and came to me to help them put the wine program together at Graduate Seattle. They have an opportunity to turn Poindexter into one of the best wine drinking destinations in Seattle. We’re going for a very approachable and fun vibe, but with a totally serious attitude towards the wines. Natural wine will be the focal point and star of the show. We will be showcasing winemakers for the Pacific Northwest and California. I’m working on getting wines that are in Seattle brought up from California. We want this to be fun and attract people the new generation of wine drinkers.
Will your own line of Vin De California wines be available at the hotel? Anything else cool from Cali you’re bringing up?
I am currently working on getting Vin de California to Seattle. I also have some wines from friends of mine I am working on bringing up as well getting custom wines made specifically for Poindexter and the hotel.
You’re doing wine in the lobby, but I’m very curious to know a bit more about the rooftop bar.
Mountaineering Club boasts some of the best views in the city. Located in the hotel’s former penthouse suite, Mountaineering Club will feature both indoor and outdoor seating areas invoking the true outdoor spirit of the Pacific Northwest. The space’s low ceilings create a comfortable, intimate setting while multiple mirrors reflect all the city has to offer including the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier. With a color palette incorporating forest green walls and dark wood floors along with an underbar featuring depictions of the city’s neighboring mountain ranges, the space also includes plaid bar seats as a nod to the neighboring University of Washington.
What are your opening plans like? Parties happening?
BIG! I am working with wine people from all over to come and host events and parties. We want to attract the attention of the entire wine community in Seattle. Because I’m an outsider, I want to make sure this program represents the people in the city more than anything. We want Poindexter to be a new Seattle wine community hub.
Photos courtesy Graduate Hotels and Adam Vourvoulis.