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UnWineding: Chronicles of COVID-19

UnWinedine Podcast

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted around the world, restaurants and bars suddenly found themselves on the front lines of an economy that was rapidly shutting down. In Orlando, one of America’s hospitality capitals, people who make their living in the area’s blossoming wine community scrambled to adjust to ever-changing rules and realities. Their experiences will become part of the history of this extraordinary moment in time. UnWineding tells their stories … in their own words. Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing music for UnWineding and to Amy Tardif for editorial assistance.


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  • Episode 38: Heather LaVine
    by Judith Smelser

    The owner of Golden Hour Wine, a natural wine boutique in Orlando's Baldwin Park neighborhood, talks about her decision to leave her thriving wine and hospitality group in Upstate New York and start a new life as part of Central Florida's wine community.

  • Episode 37: Cherié Rivett
    by Judith Smelser

    Cherié Rivett, owner and CEO of Orlando-based Harvest Moon Distributors, talks about her unexpected journey into the wine business after a successful corporate career and shares some of the hard lessons she's learned along the way.

  • Episode 36: Mary Montalvo “Exit Interview”
    by Judith Smelser

    Mary Montalvo returns to UnWineding to talk about her decision to close her Sanford, FL wine bar, Luisa's Cellar.

  • Episode 35: One Year Later
    by Judith Smelser

    One year after UnWineding launched amid a flurry of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, we check back in with the three Florida wine industry professionals we followed through the first six months of the pandemic and hear how their lives have changed.

  • Episode 34: Nga Ly-Henschen
    by Judith Smelser

    Nga Ly-Henschen, General Manager of Capa Steakhouse at the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World, talks about falling in love with wine at Orlando's Eola Wine Company, dealing with the pandemic shutdown and reopening, and her dreams for the future.

  • Episode 33: Mary Elizabeth Howe
    by Judith Smelser

    Mary Elizabeth Howe was just 30 years old when she became North Florida area manager for Augustan Wine Imports. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, she found herself furloughed from the job she loved. But as with other challenges she's faced in her career, she saw the trial as an opportunity for growth.

  • Episode 32: Tim Varan
    by Judith Smelser

    Tim Varan of Tim’s Wine Market shares stories about the early days of Orlando’s wine scene, his surprisingly rosy prediction for the COVID-19 pandemic’s potential impact on the area's wine industry, and much more.

  • Episode 31: Mary Montalvo
    by Judith Smelser

    Mary Montalvo, co-owner of Luisa's Cellar in Sanford, Florida, talks about her journey from Puerto Rico to Florida (via Germany), speaks candidly about the realities of being a woman of color in an industry dominated by white men, and shares how she and her business are getting by as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

  • Episode 30: Matt Coltrin
    by Judith Smelser

    Season Two of UnWineding kicks off with a conversation with Matt Coltrin, owner of The Parkview wine bar and restaurant in Winter Park, just north of Orlando.

  • Season 2: A New Beginning
    by Judith Smelser

    UnWineding is back starting next week! Listen for a quick preview of Season Two, and learn how the Orange County Regional History Center is preserving Season One for future generations.