The Wine Country SHOP SMALL

Randy Kemner at The Wine Country.

Wine expert Randy Kemner says he wanted to stop selling wines to stores in the Southland and start providing affordable top-shelf wines to the greater Long Beach area.

So in 1995, that's what he did, opening The Wine Country at 2301 Redondo Ave. Doors opened on Nov. 14, 1995, with Kemner and his brother, Dale Kemner, as proprietors.

Since then, the store has gradually expanded its offerings, adding spirits in 1996, expanding gourmet food choices and expanding craft beer options. Specialty cider, mead, hard seltzer and hard Kombucha are among the latest additions.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, the first 1,000 customers beginning Friday morning will receive a commemorative canvas wine tote. The give-away will continue until closing Sunday or when the bags are gone.

Kemner pointed out that The Wine Country has been able to stay open through the coronavirus pandemic by safely offering "essential consumables to a hungry and thirsty community.” Curbside service is available, as is online shopping — www.thewinecountry.com.

The Wine Country is open all week — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 562-597-8303.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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