The pandemic created such a sense of anxiety for many that folks largely avoided public gatherings, which created a nostalgic longing simply for relaxing in a public spot and enjoying the finer things in life.
That’s why — just as vaccination rates go up and life slowly returns to normal — it’s fitting that Valley Cigar and Wine Co. should open its doors. The store, which offers a variety of cigars, wines from all over, locally grown hemp and a sampling of other local products, is set to open for business this weekend.
Owners Travis and Maggie Bramlett — who also own the neighboring hot tub store — cleared their final major hurdle last week when their ABC permit came through, which now enables them to sell wine.
“We’d been working on that permit for weeks,” Maggie said.
When it comes to the wine, Maggie said most bottles will not be “grocery store wines,” but rather a broad variety from different places.
“There will be wines from different regions,” she said.
“We’ll have stuff from $6 to $100,” Travis added.
In addition, Maggie, who comes from a long line of Crabtree Tobacco farmers, said she’ll host public tastings on certain days to give folks a chance to hone their own tastes. For Maggie, the tastings she’s done herself in preparation have opened her eyes. While she used to not like rosés, as she’s broadened her horizons, she’s come around.
“I’ve always liked red wines, but now I love rosés,” she said. “You never know what you’ll be into until you do some tastings to figure out what you like.”
Downstairs, a large, hand-built humidor, which features intricate details indicative of top-notch craftsmanship as well as some historical items passed down by Maggie’s family, will house the cigar inventory that features plenty of classics, from Montecristo to Cohiba and beyond.
Travis said there is a possibility they may at some point allow folks to pay membership dues to keep a locker at the store, where they could keep their liquor of choice should they want to enjoy a cigar on the deck with some bourbon or scotch.
“We’re not sure yet. But, either way, we’ll have a spot that someone can just come in, kick their feet up and relax,” he said.
In addition to wine and cigars, the shop also will sell regional hemp products and some locally crafted goods from the likes of Cold Mountain Toffee located off Jonathan Creek and Hazelwood Soap Company.
Valley Cigar and Wine Co., located at 20 Swanger Lane off of Dellwood Road, will fully open this Saturday, during which it also will welcome about 40 luxury and high-performance automobiles that will stop by as part of the Tour deLux Rally’s Majestic Mountain Tour that benefits Shriners Children’s Hospitals. According to the Tour deLux website, the group should arrive between 3 and 4:30 p.m.