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NEW IN TOWN: Village Vino

Former Napa exec turns Kensington wine bar Village Vino into a hit


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Napa's loss is Kensington's gain. As the former vice president of sales for Peju Province Winery and national sales manager at Chateau Montelena Winery, Rita Pirkl knows what works and what doesn't in wine tasting rooms. Since June, she's been putting that knowledge to work at her Kensington tasting room/restaurant Village Vino (on the corner of Adams and Kensington, across from Bleu Boheme). What works? Small family owned selections with a quality to price ratio that “makes sense," like the Dog Point Pinot Noir from Marlborough. Rita lives less than a mile from her shop, a building that’s been around since 1920 (formerly Kensington’s go-to Piggly Wiggly) and a building that lured Rita from her job in Napa.

The 26-year San Diego resident spent time in Italy studying cooking as well, so she's got the food/liquid food symbiosis dialed. The small kitchen creates dishes meant to pair with groups of wine, like the pesto-tomato flatbread (goes with most reds). The 35-seat locale has a modern look with antique flavor; the cement tables and bar are coupled with bistro-ish metal chairs. Rita knows her wine but most importantly, her customers. Rita’s done the digging – scouring the world for small wineries – and all we have to do it take a sip. 

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