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Entrepreneurs sell, teach wine

Eclectic wine shop using crowdfunding to expand

You could say Cecilia Barretto and Melissa Unsell have popped their corks.

The friends and business partners are turning their passion into profits, running a small business called Vinously Speaking - An Eclectic Wine Shop, 7271 Wurzbach.

"Our purpose here is really to ignite San Antonio's wine culture by appealing to all wine lovers, experts and novices alike," Unsell said.

The two are on a mission to expand San Antonio's wine palate. Inside their small shop they not only sell some obscure varieties, most priced around $20, they also teach.

"We like to make it fun and approachable," Unsell said. "We do that through our education series."

Don't know a pinot from a merlot? No problem. Don't know what to serve with a special dinner? The business partners say they are there to answer questions in an unintimidating atmosphere.

"The best way to enjoy wine is to explore," Barretto said. "It's important to know what you like about wine. It's also important to know what you do not like about wine."

Barretto recently earned her Masters in Wine Business from the Burgandy School of Business in Dijon, France.

But don't be intimidated by that, either.

"In all of our wine education, we tell people the best wine is the wine you like," Barretto said.

Now that the women's dream of opening a business has legs, they plan to expand into a wine bar. They're using a concept called crowdfunding to raise the $30,000 they say they need.

"It allows people to give what they are comfortable giving to suppport our growth," Unsell said.

On their website, www.vinouslyspeaking.com, patrons can use the www.gofundme.com platform to make donations ranging from small to large.  Some amounts mean discounts on wine for the donor.

And, if anyone is so generous as to give $15,000 to their endeavor, they get an entire room named after them, complete with a professional portrait on the wall.

Until then, the two will keep working to raise wine awareness one sip at a time.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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