Author: Steve Hart

A wine-country gathering place since 1881, the Oakville Grocery lies in the heart of Napa Valley, surrounded by some of the most notable wineries and restaurants in the world and considered a must stopover for any wine enthusiast making a pilgrimage to Napa.  It features a wide selection of Napa and Sonoma county wines, local artisan meats and cheeses, a Deli  that makes world-class picnic fixings, an espresso bar with freshly baked goods, and a wide offering of olive oils, chocolates, spices and other epicurean essentials.

In 2019 Jean-Charles Boisset brought his Midas touch to the Grocery when he purchased the property and transformed the adjacent Durrant and Booth house into an interactive wine museum, featuring À la carte pours of Napa Valley wines. Don’t simply plan to just “stop by” the Oakville grocery–it is well worth it to spend an hour or two there.  Treat yourself to a fabulous deli sandwich on one of the courtyard tables while tasting your way around the Valley with some of the museum’s many tasting choices. And oh, if by chance you haven’t purchased a Vinarmour Wine Carrier yet, you cannot miss them here–they happen to be in the middle of the most famous wine-country grocery in the world.

To be sold in this store,
every product must have
a story to tell.

In 2013 Mark and Susie Nievens left the security the well-paying tech industry of Seattle looking for more of a connection in their lives.  They found it in their personal lives in Sun Valley Idaho, and they established in their business lives with the creation of Independent Goods.  Their store in the heart of Ketchum Idaho is founded on their love for a great story, and those moments when a connection is found when you least expect it.  They seek out handcrafted goods primarily from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest from independent makers offering quality products that have a story behind it.  Often times the makers of these products, like Mark and Susie, left everything behind to pursue their passion and the result of which is their product.  Others, the makers of the products come from a lineage and heritage within the producer’s  family.  Each item in their store has a card with the item, telling that story.  The result of which is an unforgettable shopping experience that leaves the buyer, Mark and Susie, and the manufacturer of the product with a sense of connection.  This place was made for Vinarmour.

Exclusive wines in an
exclusive neighborhood

Gordon McIntosh wanted to golf in his retirement from being a GM at an auto dealership in the Bay Area, but when it starting taking 6 hours to finish a round he found another hobby instead–wine.

For 11 years now he has been the proprietor of University Wines, located just northeast of the University of Washington between two of Seattle’s most sought-after neighborhoods, Laurelhurst and Windermere.  What makes this little shop so unique is it’s connection to Jeanne-Marie de Champs, a Beaune négociant who the Wall Street Journal once dubbed “The Grande Damme of Burgundy”.  Jeanne-Marie is a household name in burgundy and she has developed relationships with many small producers whose vines are literally spitting distance from the vines of some of the most highly-regarded estates in the world.  The prior owners of the shop had a good relationship with Jeanne-Marie, and Gordon has taken that to a new level and now provides his loyal customers with bottles that cannot be found anywhere else outside of France.  Every year Gordon personally makes a spring trip to Burgundy to barrel taste (pictured on R  with Vinarmour founder Brian Hart and winemaker Denis Clair of Saint-Aubin, during a morning of barrel tasting his many Premier Cru white burgundies….) to make sure imports only the best.  Although “U-Wines” emphasis is on eastern France, they also have a healthy collection from Bordeaux and Champagne, as well as offering some unique Italian and Spanish wines.  When in Seattle and you are looking for some unique and delicious bottles of Burg for the cellar, stop by U-wines and consider also getting one other the Vinarmour Wine Carriers they sell to help get it home safely.

The Vinarmour Exclusive Retailer for Boulder, CO

With the number one Farmer’s Market in the country, a stellar food scene, and a lively downtown area, Boulder is Denver’s little sister 30 miles to the northwest.  And supplying the fine restaurants and wine enthusiasts in the region is the iconic Boulder Wine Merchant.  Every item at the BWM is hand picked and curated by its owner, Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman, and we are around to be alongside some of the most elegant and sought-after wines in the world.

The Source For The Boulder Burgundy Festival

Over 10 years ago Zimmerman also founded the Boulder Burgundy Festival, a 3-day event celebrating the fine wines of Burgundy through tastings, meals, and seminars.  The profits of the Festival go to support aspiring wine professionals, medical aid for the needy, and meals for children facing hunger.  In addition to having a vast selection from Burgundy, the BWM has a great selection of wine and spirits from all over the world.

Our First Retailer In The Centennial State

We are thankful to Jeff Mathews, the general manager, and Brett for showcasing Vinarmour products at the best wine store on the Colorado Frontrange.  Stop by to pick up one of our Wine Carriers–what better way to bring a bottle up onto the ski slopes?