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Organic Wine Store Brings Purest Vintages to Staten Island

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 7, 2013 9:48am

ST. GEORGE — A Staten Island wine store is specializing in vintages from the purest grapes.

Honor Wines, which opened in November on Bay Street, St. George, deals in organic wines from small vineyards and plans to compete with Manhattan's finest dealers.

"Our aspiration is to be treated as good as any of the best wine shops in the city," said Lorie Honor, owner of the store. "That's what our vibe is and that's what our intention is, to not be surprised that we're in Staten Island."

The store avoids selling labels from larger, more well-known companies, Honor said.

She said that, aside from the taste, she prefers the labels because she prefers to support smaller businesses and companies.

“When you're dealing with people who make 7,500 cases and that's their livelihood, that's exciting to be a part of,” Honor said. "You’re actually contributing directly to the grower.”

Though the wines they sell are made in smaller batches, they don't come with a larger price tag, Honor said. An average bottle of wine in the store sells for between $12 and $20.

“This is an everyday drinking price point,” she said. “We’re middle-class people, we drink everyday and we want everybody else to be able to afford to drink every day.”

Honor runs the store with her husband Robert, a former screen writing professor at NYU and restaurant manager.

“A lot of these wines tell stories, personal stories, and Lorie can tell you a lot about some of these wine makers,” Robert Honor said.

The store holds tastings every Friday, and tries to have the winemakers in attendance as much as possible.

The couple hopes that the store will also help spur more small businesses to open in the area.

"People in this community have been waiting for us and waiting for other businesses like us so that they don’t actually have to get in the car to do some of their shopping,” Robert Honor said.

For Lorie Honor, who also teaches at a local elementary school, the store was just something she always wanted in the neighborhood she's lived in for the past seven years.

“It’s like when you give a gift, you give a gift that you really want,” she said. “We really wanted to open a business that we wished would be here.”