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An Improved Wine Experience on the Mountain

The Grapevine at Lake Arrowhead Village

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 10:00 am

It was in February of this year when Grant Dunning, now the owner of The Grapevine in Lake Arrowhead Village, saw the opportunity to become a part of something he truly believed in.

Having been a customer and supporter of The Grapevine before it was for sale, Dunning explained that purchasing the place took no second thought. “I thought I would take a good wine bar and make it into a great wine bar.”

He shared that the wine, cheese and beer was something he enjoyed as a customer and, when he purchased it, he began to think of ways to enhance the experience. It wasn’t about changing what The Grapevine was known for; instead, it was to give the place a new twist that would excite customers.

“We now have craft beer on tap, and specialty beers by the bottle,” he disclosed. “We have six handles that we rotate out with the seasons.” Although The Grapevine offered beer before, Dunning said that it was not something it was known for and that a lot of people were unaware that beer was an option.

In addition to the craft and specialty beers, the menu at The Grapevine has also been increased. It now includes a variety of appetizers, hot sandwiches, and a large selection of gourmet cheeses and meats. When people go out to enjoy a drink, they can also have the pleasure of food to accompany it, as well.

The Grapevine also has its on-premise/off-premise license. This means that customers can enjoy their beer and wine while at the location, or can simply purchase the bottle[s] and take them to go.

“I try to bring in items that are unique,” Dunning said. “What you find here you won’t get in Stater Bros.”

When Dunning purchased The Grapevine, he did so with the vision of appealing to a broader crowd. He re-branded the logo, which was the beginning of the process, but also did a few minor tweaks around the place to change the ambiance. He noted that, during this time, some of the fluorescent lights were taken out and Edison bulbs were installed, which gave the place a warmer, toned-down feel.

Customers can enjoy the comfortable setting inside or the back deck or front patio. The back deck has a serene environment, as it overlooks the lake, and the large front patio gives off a more social aspect. Dunning described it as the perfect place to enjoy the summer concert series. Customers can enjoy a glass of wine or beer, accompany it with food and have live music right in front of them.

When Dunning purchased The Grapevine, he had a goal that he said he has since achieved. “My number one goal was to get more people through the door...I feel that we’ve done that.”

At The Grapevine, there are three clubs that customers can join: Sommelier Society (wine); Cicerone Society (beer); and Fromage Society (cheese).

These clubs give access to special benefits. For the wine club, for example, members can sign up for the $40 gold package, or the $80 platinum. These packages include two bottles of wine a month, but the price of the wine is dependent upon the package. The benefits to joining the club include complimentary monthly wine tasting, discounts on purchases of event wines, a 10 percent discount on all store purchases, a complimentary cheese platter when two flights of wine or beer are purchased and priority seating on the front patio during the summer concert series.

You can become a member of these clubs by simply walking in and filling out a membership sheet, or by visiting The Grapevine online and submitting a membership form.

“Our mission at The Grapevine is to be the ‘purveyors of the good stuff in life,’” Dunning concluded. For more information, visit www.thegrapevinestore.com.

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