A decade ago, Femi Oyediran and Miles White were food runners at the Charleston Grill, bonding over a similar taste in music and being the youngest employees. Fast forward a few years and White had graduated at the top of his class in the wine and beverage program at the Culinary Institute of America and was working harvest in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Meanwhile, Oyediran, studying wine under the Charleston Grill’s Rick Rubel, had become one of seven advanced sommeliers in South Carolina.
At lunch one day, the two friends lamented the lack of local energy and excitement surrounding wine that they’d witnessed in other cities. “We looked at a map of downtown Charleston, and you’ve got some of the best food in the Southeast, all of these breweries popping up, and amazing cocktail bars,” says White. “It seemed so obvious.”
Hence, Graft Wine opened last spring, with Oyediran and White at the helm of a collection of bottles both classic and esoteric, luring folks in Charleston in to try new things and have a good time. “It’s a very social thing. We wanted to build culture into the space, to have a feel and an idea that vibed with people who got to know us,” says Oyediran. “Who doesn’t like to listen to great records and drink good wine?”