As a former speech-language pathologist, I have always had an interest and enthusiasm for learning and sharing knowledge. Over fifteen years ago, I began collecting wine and traveling to some of the most well-known vineyards in the United States and Europe. My passion for wine and culture had its beginning then, but the true journey began several years ago.
After watching the documentary film, Somm, I was inspired to sign up for a Level I wine certification course through the International Wine Guild. A whole new perspective of the world of wine opened to me, but quickly I realized how much more there was to learn!
In July 2017, I enrolled in the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level II Award intensive course and continued to the Level III Award. I completed the three-month course and exam so excited to share this knowledge with others.
Everyday Sommelier, our retail and wine education business opened on 5th St in Lynchburg, VA in 2019. Little did we know that a world pandemic was right around the corner. However, due to a supportive community of wine lovers and partnerships with local businesses, we made our way through this difficult time with success. In May of 2022, we moved the shop to its new location on Commerce Street. Though we had been in business for over three years, expansion into a post-Covid world was like starting over. But what an exciting journey it has been! We are adding more educational programs and hosting tastings now that the community can gather safely again as well as wine events involving art, music and cuisine all with the aim to bring the love of wine and culture to consumers.
Understanding wine is a ticket to the many cultures of the world —a gateway to history, landscapes, language, and cuisine. Grape growing, vineyard management, and winemaking is also a part of this rich and complex field. Each facet contributes to the style and quality of a wine.
Our mission is to educate others by providing guidance and opportunities to learn in the sometimes confusing and intimidating world of wine. We aim to create a fun and relaxing environment where people can explore what they enjoy and gain confidence in choosing wine for years to come.
Tonya Rieley Hengerer
WSET Level 3 Award
Drinking wine was not historically limited to people who could afford it. Western and European culture turned it into an elite thing. Winemakers were farmers and field workers. Everyday people. And that’s who should enjoy and have access to wine.
― Andre Hueston Mack, American Sommelier