Wine lovers take note, Craig Heffley, the Founder of Wine Authorities in Durham has been working tirelessly these past few months as he prepares to open a second Wine Authorities location in downtown Raleigh at Person Street Plaza (211 East Franklin Street).
This is great news for downtown Raleigh and the Triangle wine scene. It is also a huge boost to the exciting Person Street & Mordecai area which has seen a surge of activity in recent years with local businesses opening up like nearby Yellow Dog Bakery, Slingshot Coffee, Oak City Cycling Project, PieBird, The Stanbury, Escazu and The Station. I drive by the future home of the Raleigh Wine Authorities every day on my way home from work and it warms my heart to see the area revitalized with local businesses. I look forward to the hub of activity it is transforming into right before my eyes with each passing day.
About Wine Authorities
The Durham Wine Authorities location was opened by Craig Heffley back in 2007 and has been a centerpiece of the Triangle wine scene ever since. This is due in large part to their commitment to artisan “farmer made wines” and their unintimidating and playful approach to educating consumers about the wines they purchase. Wine Authorities has repeatedly won Durham Magazine and Indy Week’s “awards for Best Wine Shop, and in 2013 The New York Times’ wine critic Eric Asimov praised Wine Authorities as a “shop devoted to removing intimidation from the wine business.” The store is the perfect place for drinkers of everyday wine, with all wines being under $50 a bottle, with the vast majority of the inventory under $15.
The new 3000-sq foot Raleigh store will be 50% larger than the Durham store, allowing for a larger lounge area for tasting more wines and beers, double the capacity for cheese, charcuterie, and refrigerated specialty items, and a more comfortable shopping experience.
To complement farmer-grown wines, the Raleigh location will sell hand cut local cheeses, breads, crackers and local charcuterie, including Wine Authorities’ own private batch made by Greensboro’s Giacomo Santomauro. Other coveted local products, such as Salad Dressings from Toast, crackers and granola from Scratch Baking, and Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butters, will be available.
The Enomatic – Wine Sampling Station
Wine Authorities has also won customers with the Enomatic – an Italian wine dispensing machine – ideal for sampling and tasting wines before purchasing. (1 ounce tastings range from 80¢ to $5) The Durham store was the first in the Triangle area to offer 12 wines for tasting throughout the day with the automated wine dispensers; the new Raleigh store will serve 24 different wines daily and boasts a larger lounge area. Wine Authorities will also serve local craft beers on tap, including Trophy Brewing, Crank Arm and the highly allocated Ponysaurus, once it’s available.
Contest – Win $20 Enomatic Wine Cards!!
Earlier this month Wine Authorities introduced Raleigh residents to the plans for their new store with a series of Enomatic cards strategically placed at historic sites and locally owned businesses in downtown Raleigh. Each day Heffley and his team discreetly reveal the location via social media, and those who discover the cards post a picture of them after finding the card on social media, then enjoy their Enomatic dollars once the store opens.
Art Sheppard, my friend and author of the The Wandering Sheppard travel blog used his sleuthing skills to discover one of the Enomatic cards at Yellow Dog Bread Co. earlier this month (victory picture above). Make sure you follow wine authorities on facebook, twitter, and instagram to follow future clues and your chance to win an Enomatic card of your own. The contest will continue for the next few weeks while final preparations for the grand opening of their store is underway.
Soon after opening, Wine Authorities plans on hosting an open house featuring neighboring businesses and food trucks. Once open I plan on stopping by to grab a few pictures of the store, and try some wines for a future feature on the blog. Happy hunting for those Enomatic wine cards!
Wine Authorities – Raleigh (Opening Soon!)
211 East Franklin Street
Raleigh, NC 27604 (map)