Local winemakers take their hobby to the next level with OTR winery and wine bar


Winemaking is in Anthony Maieron’s blood. His parents are from Italy, and when they moved to the U.S. his father continued to make wine in the garage.

“I remember all of my dad’s friends coming over and crushing the grapes together and telling stories,” Maieron says. “When I moved back to the area after college, my dad asked me if I wanted to take over the winemaking, and I’ve been making it in Cincinnati for 12 years now.”
 
He and his wife Jodi, along with friends John and Amy Coleman and vintner Alex Sena, have turned that Italian winemaking tradition into Revel OTR, an urban boutique winery and wine bar. Their goal is to create a space that makes wine more approachable while still sticking true to the old-school Italian winemaking process.
 
“Everyone in Over-the-Rhine is focusing on making food and drink accessible,” Maieron says. “There’s this perception of wine being an upperclass drink or for the older demographic, but we’re really breaking down those barriers and showing younger people that wine is for them too.”
 
They purchased a building at 111 E. 12th St. so they could really invest in the community. Wine production will be in the basement, which has the capacity to hold 44 barrels at a time. The first floor will have a wine bar and high-top tables as well as a rail along the outside wall. The second floor will be a more intimate space with casual seating.
 
Phase II, which Maieron hopes to have ready by next summer, will be a rooftop terrace with additional seating.
 
Revel OTR’s interior will have a raw and rustic feel with many of the building’s original aspects intact, including the stone cellar walls, exposed brick and plaster and hardwood floors. The bar was also custom-made from salvaged material in the building.
 
“We’ve done much of the salvage work ourselves and have salvaged everything possible from the building to preserve that historic character,” Maieron says. “We wanted to restore the building and bring it back to life while reusing elements of the building.”
 
The Maierons and the Colemans want to create a sense of environment that caters to everyone. Revel OTR will be somewhere people can meet up for a glass of wine before or after dinner or enjoy a bottle while waiting for a table at a Vine or Main street restaurant.
 
Revel OTR will showcase other small-batch, family-owned wineries. It’s hard for small wineries to sell their product at big box stores and still have it be affordable and turn a profit, so Maieron wants to be able to give exposure to those wineries and build partnerships.
 
Revel OTR plans to open in late August or early September with up to six of their own wines available, including their flagship Sangiovese, with an average bottle price of $26. On any given day, there will be about 20 different wines available by the bottle, carafe, juice glass or flight.
 
There won’t be an extensive food menu, but Maieron plans to serve traditional Italian wine accompaniments like olives, meats and cheeses.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.