A Sausalito Specialty Wine Shop Offers Visitors a Taste of California Wine Country
If location is everything they say it is, then it would be hard to find a better retail vantage point than a spot overlooking Richardson Bay on Bridgeway in Sausalito. That’s the location of Bacchus & Venus, a wine shop that has been on the scene since 2002 and was acquired by Todd and Cyndi Wheeler last year. After a move to Sausalito early last year and tiring of the long commute to Silicon Valley, Todd decided to make a radical shift from a career in the high-tech world to that of a small-business owner and took ownership of Bacchus & Venus in November 2019. They are now sharing their passion full time and offering wine enthusiasts carefully curated high- quality, small-production California wines.
Now focusing on providing great local vintages to their clientele, the Wheelers currently offer some 150 to 175 labels in their shop, all selected from California’s best winegrowing regions, from Mendocino on the north coast to Amador County in the Sierra foothills, to Napa and Sonoma and wineries as far south as Santa Barbara.
“Our shop has an advantage for visitors from out of state who can’t extensively roam the wine country,” Todd Wheeler explained.
“We’re close to the ferry dock, so if people are visiting San Francisco and come over to Sausalito, we can expose them to many great wines made in California. We become a one-stop-shop representing great regional California wines, and that’s become a big advantage for us.”
Bacchus & Venus also has several programs that allow people access to some of the specifically curated wines available at the shop. They offer four different wine clubs, with options for whites, reds, a sampler selection, and a reserve club that includes some of the area’s most hard to get and sought after vintages. Every month members receive two specifically selected bottles in their chosen club. A recently added event is the monthly Winemaker Wednesday tasting, with a visiting local winemaker sharing their small production vintages at the shop. It’s a way for enthusiasts to explore up and coming vintners, labels they might not otherwise have heard of, ask questions, and keep up with what’s new and exciting in the wine world.
Bacchus & Venus has developed a loyal clientele since it opened, and, with the Wheelers at the helm, changes for 2020 are planned. “We have a nice event space at the shop, and this year we’d like to turn it into something of a lounge-type area, where our Wine Club members or visitors can stop in, have a glass of wine and just relax a little,” said Todd Wheeler. “With this space, we can also reengage with the locals, providing a place where people can meet and hang out, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the atmosphere. That’s why we’re here. We enjoy nothing more than sharing our passion and helping people appreciate the great wines that California has to offer.”
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769 Bridgeway // Sausalito, CA 94103