Better with time

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 08:53 AM

There are but a few pleasures in life that truly get better with time. Among these aging pleasures that only improve are good cheese, a proper cut of beef, the affection of a loving person, and certainly, a good bottle of wine.
It would seem only fitting that the town of Hillsborough, with all of the diversities that join hands and weave the fabric of community, would have a wine store. At the Hillsborough Wine Company, which is part of the Chapel Hill Wine Company, joining hands and weaving fabric is done among the aging aromas of tenured grapes and cleverly named bottles. The store is owned by Todd Wielar, who store manager, Jen Barger, describes as, “an amazingly keen person.” 
Situated between Margaret and King, facing to the East, and with what appears to be the best view of Hillsborough, the store almost did not happen, long term. “Originally, the wine store was going to open in Chapel Hill, first. However construction was delayed and Todd rented the space on the corner of Margaret and Churton, and that became the first home to the store, which we thought we would only have temporarily,” Barger said. Good things slowly aged with time and temporary became permanent and from within the eclectic bottles that comprise the racks of wine and the décor that invites one to sit, wonder, sip, and admire the ambience of this place, the Hillsborough Wine Company became a fixture of this town. “The community here is so wonderful and diverse,” Barger said.
Originally from Hickory and having studied anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill, Barger found herself not just liking the town of Hillsborough but now, she is part of the town of Hillsborough. “Not every area has a small town with such an intimate feel, as this town has,” Barger said.
When asked what type of wine Hillsborough would be if bottled and poured, Barger paused for a moment and then slowly uncorked words to describe this town like, friendly, loyal, and with an intent of being fun.
The wine store is all that a specialty wine store should be. And beyond the bottles that compliment fresh-caught fish or a well-prepared filet or wine that really bring the tastes from a summer dessert, one of the specialties of this place is the customer service. The wine store hosts tastings each month and the wine tasting machine in the store offers prospective customers an opportunity to narrow their palates into what they are seeking or be exposed to something they might never have tried.
Still, there is much more to the ambience of this place and the niche it fills in Hillsborough. For Jen Barger, the temporary store in the temporary town became something poetically permanent and the wine shop is not the only reason she calls this place home. “A customer had given a gift certificate to a guy they knew, who they thought would be someone I might like,” says Barger. “He came in and purchased wine and soon we started dating and I fell in love and now I have two small kids and am married to this wonderful man that came in because a customer also had good taste, too,” Barger said.



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Hours Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday’s 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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