As everyone knows Kelly and I enjoy visiting wineries and tasting wine, but when you find yourself looking for a bottle of wine for a particular occasion or need to take a hostess gift a wine shop can be a great place to shop. Knowledgeable wine staff can decipher what flavor profile you are after and lead you to wines that you would enjoy. We are lucky in the Morganton area to have a trusted wine shop, Craft’d. Owners, Mark and Maryann Koziel, had their idea of what they wanted the shop to be, but they are also receptive to what their customers want. This combination has created an evolving progression of trying new events to see what works. Both of their careers allow them to work remotely and thus being able to live anywhere. Once they visited the area they fell in love with western North Carolina and settled at Lake James. Next came the question of what location would be good for a wine shop. Luckily a wine shop that was closing presented the perfect opportunity. Once the property, including the wine inventory, was theirs they began to make it their own. The previous owners also served coffee and tea. Maryann’s love of coffee made the decision to keep the coffee and tea an easy one.
Craft’d also houses the Morganton Cigar Club. Starting mid-September they will meet at their newly renovated space. The Cigar Club also supports the community by its fundraising efforts in organizing and hosting the Snow Ball, held in December, and the Derby Party, held in May. This past year the events assisted South Mountain Children’s Home and Options, respectively. Having attended both I can say guests had a great time and many came home with great auction items.
Building on her crafting passion Maryann has resumed scheduling crafting classes lead by artisans that are showcased within the store. With their big assortment of coffee and tea they are beginning coffee and pastry pairings. A regular customer suggested it and Maryann ran with it. After all the only difference between coffee and wine is the time of day. Also on a customer recommendation Maryann will start port and madeira tastings this fall.
Picking out a wine can be intimidating, but Mark, Maryann or Kris can lead you to the perfect wine. Red, white and how much do you want to spend? Good wine doesn’t have to break the bank. They offer several price points to suit any budget. Their advice is to drink the wine you like and don’t worry so much about what wine goes with what food. The technical aspects can come later or not. They have taken the time to handwrite a detailed flavor profile for each wine.
Mark and Maryann appreciate the fact that their customers could go to other shops, but they choose to visit Craft'd. It is truly a place to sip, shop and socialize. If they aren't completing a purchase they will be tableside catching up their customers.