Elevated Wine & Spirts | Market | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Elevated Wine & Spirts 

From Lowbrow to High, Local to International, this Hunter Shop Stocks Wine & Liquor for Every Taste

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In December 2019, Mark Landsman bought a sprawling building on Route 23A in Tannersville. The former co-owner of Station Bar and Curio and cocktail manager at Silvia in Woodstock had been planning to turn it into a casual, all-day cafe/bar. He had partnered with local businessman Michael Osterer on the project when COVID came crashing down, squashing their nascent plans.


It was not the moment to open a new hospitality business—especially the chill, chatty, lingering sort of spot Landsman had envisioned. And yet, through the beverage reps at Silvia he heard that business was still going strong, with wine and liquor store sales more than picking up the slack from restaurants. As it turned out, Osterer owned what Landsman called an “underused” wine shop: Hunter Village Wine & Liquors.



So, taking what he had learned over years in the service industry, working everywhere from the Waverly Inn to seasonal restaurants out on Montauk and most recently at Silvia, Landman dove in. He changed the name to Elevated Wine and Spirits and took over management and day-to-day operations.


Landsman jokes that his selection runs the gamut from Barefoot Chardonnay to Cru Beaujolais, Fireball to Isolation Proof Gin, with the goal of having something for every price point and taste. “We're right next to a ski mountain,” he says. “Sometimes people have a good idea of what they want and I see no reason to get in the way of that. If you’re coming in for a 50-milliliter bottle of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey to have in your pocket on the slopes, a Sicilian natural wine isn’t for you.”


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Speaking of natural wines, it’s worth mentioning that Elevated is the only retail outpost for miles around where you can pick up a bottle of French pet nat or a Georgian skin contact wine. So while he makes sure not to alienate any customer, Landsman does capture this niche.


Landsman works with a wide range of distributors and importers to stock a broad selection of wines both natural and conventional, from all around the world. “It is important to us that we highlight how accessible natural wine can and should be,” Landsman says. “We strive to offer the funkiest of the funky for the dedicated and adventurous natural wine drinker who comes in saying ‘GIVE. ME. CRAZY.,’ as well as wines that are naturally made yet recognizable on the palate for our customers who are looking for a good place to start.”


When looking for wines to add to the portfolio, Landsman doesn’t have hard and fast rules. “We’re not militant. We like wine that is weird and made with care, but that most importantly...makes you shiver?” he says, always keeping an eye out for those wines that “spark some unexplainable, disproportionate sense of happiness.” Rather than have firm cut-offs around farming practices, sulfite additions, and the like, Landsman and his partner Kayleigh Myer create signs for nearly every product in the store, so customers can decide for themselves. “No matter what someone’s standards are, it still involves learning more about how the wine is made than it otherwise might—and that is the important thing,” he says.


Currently, Landsman is obsessed with L'imparfait Famille Pinot, from a winery in Ontarioof all places. “It is the weirdest of weird but also so easy to like,” he says of the wine, which is a blend of four grapes—two red, two white. “Even though it sounds insane, it’s extremely accessible. It’s like a chilled red meets a skin-contact white. It’s got this really good tannic backbone, it’s really juicy, it’s a beautiful color, and it’s just fun to drink.”



Sharing stories of winemakers like this, delving into different regions and winemaking processes and taste profiles with customers makes the experience fulfilling for Landsman, who has spent the last decade in front-of-house. “Being on the retail side has been fascinating—it’s a totally different game than bartending, where someone buys a drink and enjoys it in front of you,” Landsman says. “One side of it is that you don't get the immediate feedback, but the other side is that there is a different level of trust involved. I like knowing that I've given someone a piece that can work well with the experience they are trying to build, and they get to create the rest.”


Still, Landsman’s hospitality background seeps into the shop, which is decorated with his vintage Hudson Valley and Catskills postcard collection, in addition to the shelf talkers, which function like staff picks in a small, indie bookstore. “I hope people will linger here,” he says. “I hope that hunting and exploring—that people have some enjoyment in this part of the experience.”


While plans for the all day bar/cafe are still on the backburner for now, Landsman is aiming to transform the retail space next door to Elevated into a charcuterie and cheese market, which, with any luck will be open by January.


Elevated is open daily, Monday-Thursday, 11am-8pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am-9pm; and Sunday, 12pm-8pm.


Elevated Wine & Spirits

https://www.instagram.com/elevatedcatskills/

7261 Route 23A, Hunter, NY 12442

(518) 263-4184

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