Coly Den Haan, One of LA’s First Female Sommeliers
( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Coly Den Haan Is the Owner of Vinovore, a Wine Shop Located in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake Neighborhood
ENSPIRE Contributor: Marianna Poletti Reyes
As a winemaker herself, Den Haan is one of the first female sommeliers in Los Angeles. She is the owner of Vinovore, a wine shop located in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood that specializes in wines made by women. Vinovore opened up two years before the pandemic struck and had seen steady growth in sales month after month. With its creative name, it has attracted many wine consumers in the Los Angeles area.
“The name is a play on Carnivore for a few reasons! I had come up with an animal chart system to help a customer demystify certain wines and order more freely without the pretentiousness of someone else telling them what they like. Almost like your wine spirit animal! I also loved that it sounds like a person who only consumes Vino (wine) for obvious reasons!” said Den Haan.
Once the pandemic started, Den Haan had to evolve Vinovore’s business model quickly and make everything as friendly as possible to allow for wine purchasing to be simple. During the lockdown, Vinovore created the first wine window in the LA area that allows for a safe and socially-distanced wine pickup, as well as hosted weekly virtual “winesplaining” events where Zwann Grays, wine director of Brooklyn restaurant Olmsted, discussed all things wine with featured female winemakers from around the world.
Now, in addition to the aforementioned events and easy pickup plans that have succeeded, Den Haan will be hosting a four-week online course that highlights female winemakers and aims to make wine more approachable and way less stuffy and pretentious.
“I’ve had to learn to run my own race and not get caught up in what others are doing, otherwise I go mad! We also have a very specific vision being only female winemakers and natural wines as well as being a woman and queer-owned and run,” Den Hann explained. “I think that helps set us apart and resonate with certain people. Thankfully there are a lot of thirsty people in LA, too!”
Continuing to stay safe, Vinovore is ready to provide everyone with their wine needs in a socially distanced, COVID friendly way. For more information on Vinovore, you can find their website here.
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