Poco Vino boutique makes a splash in Tallahassee on Adams Street

 Poco Vino is a new boutique wine shop and event space on Adams Street in downtown Tallahassee that has already created a lot of buzz.   One reason: It’s not just a wine shop.  “It’s the first true downtown retail space in, I’m estimating to be 10 years, so that’s huge,” […]

 Poco Vino is a new boutique wine shop and event space on Adams Street in downtown Tallahassee that has already created a lot of buzz. 

 One reason: It’s not just a wine shop. 

“It’s the first true downtown retail space in, I’m estimating to be 10 years, so that’s huge,” said Elizabeth Emmanuel, CEO of the Downtown Improvement Authority in Tallahassee. “One of the things people ask for in the community is ‘where can I get locally made gifts? Where can I get a bottle of wine, a birthday card, a snack.’ All those things that people are asking for, you can purchase here.”

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Emmanuel was one of several community, business and political leaders attending Monday’s ribbon-cutting for the new shop, located in an intimate historic building that will also be a place for wine tastings, popup dinners with chefs from across the South, events and private parties. It also has a space set aside for retail, primarily items from artisans and local gift shops.

An employee pours a glass of Champagne for a customer inside Poco Vino, which officially opened its doors on South Adams Street in downtown Tallahassee Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

A retail presence 

“There are many times when I’m on the run that I need to pick up a hostess gift, or a birthday gift,” said State Rep. Allison Tant. “It’s going to be great not to have to leave downtown to do so. And I love that it is a woman-owned and women-run business.”

She’s talking about Amanda Morrison, the woman behind the shop with partner Agustin “Gus” Corbella.

Corbella credits Morrison for dreaming up Poco Vino and its potential to breathe new life into downtown.

“It’s her vision and she made her vision a reality,” said Corbella.

Amanda Morrison and Agustin "Gus" Corbella, owners of the new downtown wine shop and event space, Poco Vino.

Morrison, formerly a managing partner for Social Catering and Events, is the owner of Happy Motoring in the home of a one-time Southside gas station and has been named one of Tallahassee’s 25 Women You Need to Know.  An active volunteer, she launched the Adams Street Flea Market, which features work by local artisans on the first Saturday of each month. 

Lawyer Corbella is a longtime lobbyist and government professional, currently the senior director of the Government Law & Policy Practice at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. His many roles include the chairman of Florida State University’s Opening Nights Performing Arts Development Council. 

Morrison and Corbella are both sommeliers with a passion for wine, great food and travel with a desire to bring customers back to downtown Tallahassee. 

Poco Vino owner Amanda Morrison poses for a photo inside the downtown wine shop on its first official day of business Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

A focus on ‘real wine’ 

“Wine is like an extension of the Renaissance we’re seeing in food,” said Morrison. “We’re seeing more of an appreciation of food and people wanting to educate themselves. It’s that way with wine as well.”

One of her hopes is to introduce customers to wines they haven’t tried before.

The focus is on about 100 labels,  “small production wines that are 10,000 cases a year or less produced,” said Morrison. “Everything is grown responsibly so some form of sustainable or organic or biodynamic farming so it’s really great, high quality wine.”

A customer checks out at the register inside Poco Vino on South Adams Street on its first day of business in downtown Tallahassee Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

“The future of wine is really biodynamic and organic and sustainable and we’re really excited to feature those wines here at Poco Vino,” added Corbella. “Even the bigger houses of wine you may be familiar with are moving towards responsible farming and wine making. People want to drink wine and wine is grape juice and it shouldn’t be chemicals, it shouldn’t be pesticides or additives. We’re excited to be featuring real wine here.”

One example of those wines: Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc from the Loire Valley of France. 

“Thibaud Boudignon is a rock star of the natural wine world and makes what is often considered the best Chenin Blanc in the world,” said Morrison. “This wine sold out in the state of Florida within 12 hours and we managed to snag a case.”

The greenhouse space in the back of Poco Vino has been transformed into a seating area.

Poco Vino also showcases labels from women winemakers such as Australia’s Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon made by Virginia Wilcock; Hedges Family Estate wine from Washington, a family-owned company that includes daughter and winemaker Sarah Hedges; Ghost Block Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a premier Cabernet made by winemaker Kristi 

Kolford.

“We’ll be able to tell you something about every single wine in the shop and the story of how every single wine is made,” said Morrison, who is concentrating on wineries with sustainable farming methods. “Wine is becoming more accessible.”

Diversity in the wine world extends to Black winemakers, sommeliers and entrepreneurs, said Morrison, and includes winemaker André Hueston Mack of Maison Noir Wines, Shakira Jones, who writes the blog BlackGirlsDineToo; and Sarah Pierre, owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta.  of her hopes is to introduce customers to wines they haven’t tried before.

Poco Vino officially opened its doors on South Adams Street in downtown Tallahassee Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Bringing cool stuff

“I love bringing what’s trending in other cities to Tallahassee,” said Morrison. “There’s no reason why we can’t have cool stuff here.”

Realtor Christie Perkins couldn’t agree more. 

“I was there for a private event and I can tell you that the space is like none other in Tallahassee,” she said. “It’s really a step up for our downtown and an example of how we need to make retail, not law or lobbyist offices, a priority downtown if we are going to have the vibrant downtown that we so crave.”

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/food/2021/10/27/poco-vino-boutique-makes-splash-tallahassee-adams-street-wine-boutlique-shop-gifts/8544940002/

Katheleen Knopf

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