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New Specialty Wine Shop in Charlottesville

Wine Made Simple, Charlottesville

Owner Joyce Watson and Manager Richard Leahy (left of center) cutting the ribbon opening Wine Made Simple with officials from the Charlottesville Albemarle Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday April 5.

Wine Made Simple, a new specialty retail shop in Charlottesville, officially opened Saturday April 9, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 5 with the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.

Located in the Townside complex at 2214 Ivy Road (Suite 108), the store features affordably priced wines from Virginia to around-the-world; gourmet food items including olive oil, cheese, tapenades and crackers, and wine accessories such as cork screws, bags and stoppers. Custom gift baskets are also available at various price points. Wine Made Simple specializes in carefully selected wines of excellent quality and value, for less than $20.

“The concept of the store is to make it simple for customers to purchase a variety of interesting quality wines at good price points in an atmosphere that promotes ease of selection through style descriptors, customer service and education. Tastings with wine makers, distributors, artists and local talent will help connect area wine aficionados and those eager to learn about the wonderful world of wine,” said Joyce Watson, owner and manager.

Richard Leahy

VA Wine Gazette's Richard Leahy will consult.

Watson is pleased to have Richard Leahy on staff. Together they will select and oversee the store’s wine selection as well as conduct wine tasting events. Leahy has been writing about wines of Virginia and the East since 1986 and has been regional editor of publications such as Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, Mid-Atlantic/South Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America and East Coast Editor for Vineyard & Winery Management. He has been involved with the Virginia Wine Experience in London and Wineries Unlimited trade show, and is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the Circle of Wine Writers, as well as a regular contributor to The Virginia Wine Gazette. Richard has lived in Charlottesville since 1989 and teaches wine courses at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Watson and her husband, Robert, have had a lifelong interest in wine. After two Virginia summer vacations in 2004 and 2005 spent visiting area wineries they purchased a home in Ivy in 2006 in order to live near the vineyards and the wine community. With 30 years of business experience in public relations, communications, marketing, and event planning, Watson is finally pursuing her dream of owning a wine shop.

More information can be found on Facebook or at Contact the shop at 434-296-WINE or send an e-mail to: