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Pop the cork: Calgary wine shop comes to Edmonton's 124 St.

Boutique retailer opens third location--and first in Edmonton.

Jesse Willis knows the world of retail wine sales is a crowded field. But the longtime 'wine guy' and co-founder of Calgary-based Vine Arts Wine and Spirits, with business partner Jeff Jamieson (who knows a thing or two about hospitality) is bringing an award-winning formula for selling wine and spirits up the QE2 to Edmonton's trendy 124 St. in Westmount.

"We want to be inviting--a neighbourhood shop where you can grab a few cans of beer or wine for dinner, or geek out with wine clubs and tastings in a high-end-looking store," explained Willis in advance of the E-town grand opening weekend Sept. 15-17. "We're a destination store, but we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable. I think we'll be a great addition to the neighbourhood."

Buzz is already there among Edmonton's culinary crowd, as those in the know (and who always stop in to that city's shop when in Calgary) are eager to see the Vine Arts approach come north. For over a decade, Calgary's Vine Arts Wine and Spirits has curated beer, wine, spirits and specialty cocktail ingredients from around the world and has been recognized as one of Canada's top boutique liquor stores.

The 2,000 square-foot space in the Westmount building features over 1,000 in-stock products, a 10-foot tasting bar and hand-painted mural created by Edmonton-born, Vancouver-based Lee Nielsen.  

“The growth within Alberta's culinary community between city limits has been really exciting to watch,” said Willis. “We join a long list of locally-owned brands and retailers like the Italian Centre Shop, Knifewear and Padmanadi who now operate in Edmonton and Calgary."

Long-time fans of YEG’s food scene will know General Manager, Cheata Nao. Born and raised in Edmonton, Nao is a Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) instructor, bringing a wealth of hands-on food and wine knowledge from time spent in the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver. "Vine Arts staffers love to deliver service and education in the most unpretentious way," said Nao. "The team will give visitors recommendations while keeping things simple and approachable for those new to world of wine. It's going to be a very fun place to shop and explore."

Whether an aficionado or newbie, shoppers may find selecting a wine less intimidating in the way Vine Arts products are categorized; not by country, but by style. Are you in the mood for something smooth and sexy? How about light and fresh? Just browse that section to find something that fits the bill, adds Willis.

"It's great to have the bricks and mortar experience, where people can come talk and taste," he said. "But we'll have the online and local delivery options available too for those who want that convenience."

“We’re honoured to call this vibrant neighbourhood home. The chance to contribute and be part of this community’s incredible food and wine scene is something we’re all very proud of.”

The grand opening extravaganza runs Sept. 15 to 17, with wine tastings by importers, local breweries and distilleries, raffle giveaways and 15 per cent off all purchases (Edmonton store only). Find the shop at 10961 124 St. 

For more information and to explore Vine Arts, visit