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new wine shop open in SW Durham

leandra wrote this on September 26, 2008

Thomas and Drew, from Hope Valley Bottle Shop @ 4711 Hope Valley Road in Durham, emailed me to say hello and pass along some information about their free wine tastings on Saturdays from 4:30-7pm.

(They also friended me on Facebook… talk about people familiar with social media!)

We’ll be missing this week’s South Africa tasting for reasons I’ve previously mentioned, but plan to get over there in the next few weeks to check this place out.

Here’s the lineup for this weekend:

And here’s a little background on the two guys from their first E-newsletter…

Hope Valley Bottle Shop is the collaboration between two good friends, Drew Lazarus and Thomas Thorne, with over 30 years combined experience in the Triangle Wine Business. Together they have two of the best Sommelier resumes in the RDU area, and now are bringing their wine knowledge and skill to the retail side of the trade.

Thomas Thorne is a native North Carolinian, with his family going back twelve generations in the Wilson area. Thomas spent two years as the Sommelier at The Fearrington House Restaurant, which he left to be the opening Sommelier at West End Wine Bar in Chapel Hill. After two years there, Thomas returned to the hotel restaurant business, and was the Sommelier at the Carolina Inn for seven years. He left the Carolina Inn to concentrate on putting together his and Drew’s ideas for a wine store, working as a sales representative for a wine distributor in the interim. He and his wife Aubrey just three months ago welcomed their first child, a son named Redmond. Having a first child and opening a first business at the same time is a daunting task, which Thomas has tackled with finesse. [Editor’s note: Good gravy!]

Drew Lazarus followed a very similar career path to Hope Valley as did Thomas, although their early lives differ. Drew emigrated down to North Carolina in the late 80s from Massachusetts, following his father’s roots to UNC. His dad was born and raised in Sanford, NC – Drew is the only member of his family born in the North, and also the only one smart enough to have moved back South. After graduation from UNC, Drew got into restaurant management with a specialization in wine, and developed the wine lists at a variety of Triangle restaurants. He spent the early part of the new millenium working as a sales representative for an area wine and beer distributor, but spent most of 2003 living in San Francisco helping his sister with a restaurant she owned there. Upon returning to the area, Drew became the first Sommelier at The Washington Duke Inn, a position that he held for several years. Most recently he was the General Manager of Nana’s, a position he left to concentrate on putting together his and Thomas’ idea for a wine store.

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