Sour Grapes was a project formed in 1990 by Ross Holloway (formerly of Room 11,Two White Eyes, The Alchemist) and Gillian Woods (also a member of Jam Sandwich at the time) in what Holloway has described as "a sort of backlash against the way I felt things were going (within Hamilton music)". Taking their name from a song Holloway had written regarding the circumstances of The Alchemist's recent demise, he describes Sour Grapes as "something I had a lot of fun writing, but probably took it a little too far".
During 1990 and '91 they had a number of performances at the university Performance Cafe, St Peters Hall and the Acoustic Music Club. In 1991 Holloway also teamed up with members of Gillian's other band Jam Sandwich to form Pregnant Hippies. Gillian Woods left for Wellington in about 1992, but did return to Hamilton about ten years later as half of another folk duo Henderwood. In her absence Holloway also formed another acoustic duo known as Stephanie Five (1992 - 1993).