From Wine School to Wine Emporium

In August 2002, Michael Bryan decided to begin offering wine education courses to his friends—and their friends. Just as the American wine culture was seeing unprecedented change and growth, he noticed the power of people connecting with each other over wine. It seemed obvious his first company should be named Connect With Wine. In its first 2 years, ran wine classes, performed client tasting events, created large wine festivals called “Discover” events, and even took guests to experience North Georgia’s burgeoning wine country.

It wasn’t long until newly inspired clientele began asking “where can I learn even more about wine?” This effort led to conceiving and opening the Atlanta Wine School (AWS), which offered its first course, Introduction to Wine, in September 2004.

With passionate instructors, and professional instructional offerings, AWS grew fast, landing in its own building in 2007. AWS’ humble formation helped to provide an informed path for the burgeoning wine curious. Not content to cast wine as solely an interesting libation, AWS’ charter was (and still is today) to represent wine as a symbol of good and fine living. AWS’ hosted group trips to wine country have caught national attention.

By 2009, it was evident to Bryan they owed more to their customers, so he drew up a business plan for a “wine emporium,” which was later to be named Vino Venue.

Vino Venue opened its doors in late October, 2012. We think Bob Townsend, writing for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, described Vino Venue Best: “Vino Venue is a new multiple choice wine bar and retail emporium that offers shopping, tasting, dining, education and entertainment under one roof.”

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Today, Vino Venue sees 3,000 attendees annually for courses– either one night or multi-night, and from novice to advanced learners. From corporate entertainment to your father’s 60th birthday party, Vino Venue will conduct approximately 300 private wine functions annually. Vino Venue provides a tasteful wine & dine experiences 6 nights per week in our dining room, and offers hand-picked wines for retail purchase daily. Vino Venue is the first organization to put all of these businesses under a single roof, all working seamlessly together.

The ability to provide all of these wine-centric services to his guests, was exactly what Bryan envisioned and then built. But what you may remember most about your visit is the people who are here to serve you at Vino Venue—we believe we have the most knowledgeable, helpful, wine-savvy, and friendly staff.

We Take Great Pride in:

1. Knowing how to concept, organize, and execute stimulating tasting experiences, public or private, using stellar glassware and interesting, delicious wines. NO ONE IN ATLANTA HAS MORE EXPERIENCE DOING THIS THAN US.

2. Utilizing only passionate, charismatic, wine presenters carrying qualified expert credentials. While having the credentials and wine experience is mandatory, the ability for a speaker to ‘carry the room’ is of most importance to us. How much someone knows about wine is secondary to how they make our guests feel. THE PATH TO BECOME AN AWS PRESENTER IS VERY ARDUOUS.

3. Targeting our presentation level to our audience, always being approachable, and making our guests laugh. IF WE LEAVE YOU LAUGHING, WE LEAVE YOU LEARNING.

4. Always providing high quality lite bites, appetizers, artisanal cheeses, and charcuterie to accompany our tastings. Wine doesn’t just belong with people, it likes being with food too!

5. Providing accurate information about the gastronomic world in which we live. No one knows everything or has all of the answers. We will tell you when we just don’t know, rather than concocting something simply to provide an answer to your question.

Services Under One Roof:

• Wine-inspired cuisine
• 200 wines by the bottle for dining in OR purchasing retail
• 50 wines by the glass—from a taste, to half a glass to a full glass
• Wine dispensing machines
• A solid list of artisanal beers for dining-in OR purchasing retail
• Wine and cooking classes
• Private event offerings for individuals and businesses