Margie Raimondo of the Raimondo Family Winery will open a tasting bar and retail shop at the corner of Third Street and River Market Avenue, on the ground floor of the Residence Inn, in February, sharing her wines and imported treats from her grandparents’ native Sicily.
Raimondo ships her wine to Arkansas, where it’s aged and bottled. Raimondo is moving her manufacturing — previously in Lake Norfork — to a warehouse in North Little Rock, following up on four and a half months in Italy, where she lived on and visited farms and vineyards, sampled oils and vinegars and tested small producers’ fig molasses, artisan oils, hot peppers, sun dried tomatoes, tarrali crackers and more. She’ll import some of those products and make some other gourmet items;’ “I’m going to take local products and do things I never did before,” she said.
Raimondo will also collaborate with local gourmet chocolatiers and makers of cured meats so tasters can pair her wines and oils and vinegars with different foods. The Raimondo winery specializes in Italian wines, not surprisingly: Old Vine Zinfandel, a Bella Rosso red blend, a Passione red, among others. Raimondo plans to use Arkansas grapes to make a port at her winery.