We started 100 Grapes to make wine un-fussy. Wine people often act like you need to know everything there is to know about wine to enjoy it. We enjoy wine and we don't know everything. We want people to know that it's okay to be learning and it's okay if you don't want to learn and you just want to drink it. The most important thing is that everyone is welcome. Wine is fun and it's time people started acting like it. - Laura Hebein, Woman Business Owner
Wine for Wine Lovers, Not Connoisseurs
100 Grapes is Fox Valley's newest wine tasting room, located in downtown St. Charles at 106 E. Main Street (across from the Arcada Theatre). It's a spacious, laid back atmosphere for people who want to enjoy their wine without the snobbiness.
Laura and Corey Hebein had been getting the entrepreneurial itch for a while. In their hearts, they knew they wanted to be business owners. And one day when they were sitting in a tasting room in Michigan wine country, something they did frequently with friends, the light bulb went off. Many wine tasting rooms and wineries were very intimidating to people who didn't consider themselves expert wine connoisseurs, but that didn't keep them from enjoying the wine itself. So why not make the wine tasting experience more accessible to the average wine lover?
And that is exactly what 100 Grapes does. It's a simple, uncomplicated wine tasting room experience without distraction - just good wine with good company in a refreshingly spacious room.
100 Grapes doesn't sell liquor, beer or even food. (Don't worry, you can bring in your own food.) In fact, it doesn't even sell wines from multiple countries...or multiple states. All of their wines come from one winery in Michigan - and it's delicious. There are multiple varietals of red and white for whichever wine the customer prefers.
Even the wine descriptions are down-to-earth and understandable. A visitor can easily order the kind of wine they typically like without breaking out in sweats. The idea is to come as you are for whichever wine you like - drink by the glass, order a bottle, enjoy a flight or experience a full tasting. Drink your wine, your way.
It's Simply A Fun Place to Be
It's pretty clear why 100 Grapes has already attracted a lot of regulars, despite only being open since March of 2019. It's just a fun place to be.
First off, it's spacious so you're not standing shoulder-to-shoulder like sardines with everyone else doing a tasting that night. If you've ever been to some of the other cozier wine tasting rooms in the area, you know how refreshing that is!
Secondly, it's got a laid-back vibe that is welcoming to everyone. It starts with the charming mathematic-inspired wine names (both Laura and Corey were math majors) and continues with entertaining events everyone loves, like Wine-O (Bingo with wine), Trivia and Painting nights. They're even working on hosting staged readings in partnership with a local theatre. Check their Facebook Page for the current event schedule.
100 Grapes isn't limited to a night out with friends and family; it's open to Private Parties too. Whether it's a bachelorette party, bridal shower, birthday party or other social function, 100 Grapes is available for private wine tastings and events. They have an absolutely stunning enclosed atrium that genuinely feels like you're outdoors, but without the annoying breeze. This area is additional space that works great for special events.
Startup Advice for Others
So if you love wine, good company and a relaxing atmosphere, get yourself over to 100 Grapes Wine Tasting Room and experience it for yourself.
The Fox Valley Business Review is a volunteer-run online publication with a mission to support the “buy local” movement in the Fox River Valley by shining a spotlight on local, independently owned companies in the area.