Episode 38: Heather LaVine

In early 2020, Heather LaVine left the thriving wine and hospitality empire she and her partner had built from scratch in Upstate New York, moved to Florida, and opened a tiny natural wine boutique. The owner of Golden Hour Wine in Orlando’s Baldwin Park neighborhood talks about her journey from school teacher to minor league baseball employee to local hospitality leader … and explains why she decided to seek a new life as part of Central Florida’s wine community. Orlando composer Julian Bond provided original music for UnWineding. 90.7 WMFE provides distribution and promotional assistance. 

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Golden Hour Wine aims to create “community gathering space” for Baldwin Park with Old World natural wines

Golden Hour Wine sits on a quiet side street a couple of blocks from New Broad Street, Baldwin Park’s main drag. Clocking in at only 650 square feet, it’s tiny a tiny space, but beautifully appointed, and it somehow manages not to feel the least bit cramped, despite having over 600 different wines on display.

Golden Hour has been open since April of this year, and to say its selection is eclectic would be an understatement. Owner Heather LaVine’s laser focus on natural wines from the Old World means you’re more likely to find a pinot noir from Germany or Switzerland than from California. All but the nerdiest wine lovers will encounter grapes they’ve never heard of from places they didn’t know wine was made, and even the nerdiest among us will make plenty of new discoveries.

But here’s the thing — LaVine finds a way to talk to people about her obscure bottles in a way that normalizes them, rather than playing up the geek factor.

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