BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — A new winery and bistro bar in Maumee is sure to delight even the most sophisticated wine enthusiast.
Urban Pine Winery held a grand opening celebration last week, marking the beginning of a restaurant atmosphere that’s both stylish and unique. With a focus on wine, Urban Pine Winery creates a variety of handcrafted wines on sight, from quality grapes imported from around the world in such regions as California, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Spain and South Africa.
Urban Pine hosted a ribbon-cutting with local dignitaries on June 10 and a soft opening for wine club members on June 11. The winery opened to the public on June 12.
Jen McAlear opened the wine bar with the help and support of her husband, Matt, and several key staff members.
“We are really excited to bring this to Maumee and to the people of the Toledo area,” Jen said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “In my opinion, we have needed this, and I have been trying to get this up and running for three years, so I am super excited to be here.”
Urban Pine Winery is a franchise entity of Waters Edge Wineries. Jen located the business in a space that formerly housed Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant. While she refrained from disclosing the cost of the project, work involved a complete overhaul of the building.
“We wanted to give it a modern industrial feel,” she said. “There are none of these urban concepts in the area, where you bring the wine closer to where people are.”
Having a space dedicated to producing a wide variety of wine allows convenient access to it, she added.
“I see us having more repeat customers,” she said.
The grapes come from around the world and are used in a variety of wines offered. For example, pinot grigio is made from grapes imported from Italy, the malbec is from Argentina and there are several wines made from California grapes. Other options are offered for those who do not want to imbibe wine, including local craft beer and soda.
In addition to wine, patrons can enjoy a menu filled with items that perfectly pair with wine, such as charcuterie boards, cheeses, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and desserts including chocolate.
A separate room is also available for private gatherings; and this year, the rental fee for the room has been waived.
Wine club memberships are also offered, which include special wine selections, discounts, tastings and invitations to private events.
In addition, patrons may create private vintage wine that can be bottled, corked and labeled. Each private vintage makes approximately 25-27 bottles and takes five to seven weeks to complete.
Special events can also be personalized with custom labels, personal greetings, graphics or wedding and shower dates.
Jen’s motivation to open the wine bar comes from her passion to provide a place where people can connect.
“When I sit down with a bottle of wine with someone, somehow it just expands the connection,” she said. “I wanted to create a natural, relaxing space where people could forget about work or the stresses of life and come here and have a bottle of wine and relax and connect.”
The McAlears live in Whitehouse, where they are raising their two children.
Urban Pine Winery is located at 3415 Briarfield Blvd. in Maumee.
For information, call (419) 773-4088 or visit https://urbanpinewinery.com/online.