July 22, 2014
Ground Floor: WineStyles Brings Wine-Tasting Experience To Coralville
By Deborah Neyens
Coralville’s newest wine retailer isn’t your typical wine store.
Walking into WineStyles Tasting Station feels a bit like entering the tasting room of an old-world winery. The newest addition to Iowa River Landing features a rustic wine cellar atmosphere, with wine bottles nestled in alcoves and a full wine bar in the back half of the 2,200 square-foot space.
“We try to bring the wine tasting experience to the store,” said co-owner Jeff McGinness.
The store classifies wines by taste profile (like “bold” or “crisp”) instead of varietal or region to help patrons more quickly select wine that best suits their palate. In addition to wine, the store offers craft beers, artisanal cheeses and gourmet food items.
WineStyles Tasting Station’s wine bar features four wines and six beers on tap, as well as cheese plates and flatbread pizzas.
The store will host special tasting events, including weekly wine and beer tastings, and offer memberships to exclusive wine and beer clubs.
McGinness, who also serves as director of franchise development for the WineStyles Tasting Station brand, said his store, with its built-in cheese, food, beer and tasting stations, will serve as a model for future locations.
An attorney by profession, McGinness became involved in WineStyles in 2012 when his brother and sister-in-law, Bryan and Andrea McGinness, longtime WineStyles franchisees in West Des Moines, approached him for legal review of an agreement to purchase the entire franchise system.
“I said I‘d like to be involved, too, and bought into a percentage of the business,” McGinness said. “I had been looking for something different to do and I’ve always been interested in wine. There’s always something more to learn about it.”
After buying the business, the new owners concentrated on converting existing WineStyles retail stores to the tasting station model and developing new locations.
McGinness said he and his wife, Jami, chose Iowa River Landing for their WineStyles Tasting Station because of the opportunities for growth that the development presents.
“The city (of Coralville) has done a good job marketing it as a retail hub,” McGinness said. “It gets a good mix of local traffic plus people coming in from other places. What the market has to offer is pretty spectacular.”
•Know of a company in business for less than a year that would be ideal for “Ground Floor”? Contact George Ford at [email protected]
At a Glance
•Owner: Jeff and Jami McGinness
•Company: WineStyles Tasting Station
•Address: 920 E. Second Ave., Suite 115, Coralville
•Phone: (319) 337-9463
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