News of Vino 100 Valencia closing at the end of July hit my inbox a little after lunch on June 29. Sharing the news with Facebook pals, and requesting their memories to share with Lil and Shari produced more fervor. Below you will find an excerpt from Lil and Shari’s final email, a lovely missive written by their former manager Joshua Patterson, and some heartfelt messages left on Facebook:
It is with heavy but happy hearts that we say farewell. After six years of toil and tastings, Vino 100 Valencia will raise its glass for the very last time at the end of July…Simply, our lease has come to its natural end and we have chosen not to renew it.
…Vino 100 will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturday during the month of July. In appreciation of your patronage, we’re offering our entire inventory of wine discounted at 20% off; wine gifts and accessories at 40% off. Store fixtures, furniture, equipment, and odds and ends are also on sale at deeply discounted prices. There will also be lots of parting thank you gifts.
Every wine has a story, and we’ve shared more than a few with you. Join us in raising our glass to the next chapter and new beginnings.
Lil & Shari
A Toast to Vino 100 by Joshua Patterson
“We’re on Newhall Ranch Road.”
“NewHALL. I’m from New York.”
Lil Lepore had called me for an interview. This was how I came to Vino 100 and began a journey through wine I wouldn’t soon forget.
Under Lil and Shari’s guidance, I experienced a range of grapes I’d never guessed existed let alone tried to pronounce. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo? I’m thirsty just getting the syllables out. Nero d’Avola? Sounds like something my grandmother had once. Alicante Bouschet? I hope it tastes as beautiful as its name … wait, it’s mainly used for adding color? You’re kidding, right?
The range and diversity were dizzying. Sometimes we’d taste 15 wines back-to-back. In the beginning the sheer sensory input was too much, but patterns began to emerge. Soon I was making observations like “I get limestone and grapefruit – this is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, isn’t it?” and “Wow, look at those legs. This is a fruit bomb. Really generous in the mouth. Central Coast Zin?” All this was punctuated by Lil’s ready smile and easy laugh.
Then there were Women on Wine and our Meet the Winemaker series. In both, I gained immense knowledge. In the former, I would research the brand and the grape we were presenting and, in the latter, I’d nerd out and pepper the winemaker with questions. Soon I knew about secondary fermentation, fining, harvesting, the temperaments of certain grapes.
And the atmosphere for all of it was warm, cordial and filled with bonhomie. The best part was being able to impart this knowledge to our customers. This wasn’t just some store in a strip mall, some box with bottles in it, this was a repository of knowledge, a place of warmth and light. A place where one felt immediately welcome.
The sign above the register genuinely summed up their philosophy: Enter as strangers, leave as friends. Indeed we did.
So I raise my glass to the ladies of Vino 100 Valencia. Lil and Shari, it was a brilliant experience to be a part of what you created and I know there are so very many people whose lives you touched not only through your wine but through your warmth and generosity of spirit.
Memories Brought to you by Facebook
Ckay Walker: Nooooo
Bobbi Jean Bell: What stunning news! Such wonderful ladies with a heart for the community as well as wine. You’ve made a big impact in the SCV, and a role model for small businesses like ours, and we raise our glass to wish you two Happy Trails wherever they lead you!
Ola Mikail: Only went in there one time to browse. Did impromptu flight. Gentleman working there was very nice and generous pourer.
Kym Cappi: This has always been my go to place for Wine Accessories for gifts as well as lovely tastings w/friends. Adore Lil and Shari & the staff and will miss them greatly!
Beth Greenberg: They will be missed by so many of us-and by the community. They were so generous.
Robert M. Gardner: dislike.
Diane Ceurvorst Ghilardi: I loved the Women on Wine nights with great ladies (that’s where I met YOU, Eve!) We laughed a lot and learned about regions, varietals and great wines. Laughter & wine – the best medicine! I will miss everyone, but thank God for Facebook, where I stay connected with my genuine Vino100 friends. What will I do with my time now that I won’t be doing the Vino100 Facebook page? I wish Lil and Shari the best in their future ventures.
Cheryl Dellepiane: Please say it isn’t so! Don and I will miss them dearly.
Kathy Lockhart: So Sad!!!
David Barlavi Lxix: I hate to see any local mom & pop business close, but who knows, perhaps it’s for perfectly happy reasons. Best wishes to all either way.
Steve Lemley: Bummer…. I hate to see dreams come to an end. Coming from owning a similar business, I understand what it takes to even open the doors and believe me when I say they poured their heart and soul into it for their customers. I wish you both the best and if there is anything I might be able to do, please don’t hesitate to ask. CHEERS!!!
Beth Peterson Greenwald: Heart breaking news….I am sorry.
Darlene Gandara: Amazing ladies. Saddens me.
Joshua Patterson: This makes me sad. My time at Vino 100 took me beyond a fondness for wine to a downright fascination with it. A chapter in my life closes with the store.