A world of wines
Vina Mundi opens in Genesee Depot

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

April 18, 2014

Lorelei Mustas behind the tasting bar at Vina Mundi in Genesee Depot.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

GENESEE DEPOT - Travel the world one glass at a time at the newly opened wine bar Vina Mundi in Genesee Depot. Owner Lorelei Mustas said bottles come from as far away as Australia, South Africa and Greece.

Opening about one-and-a-half weeks ago, Vina Mundi is located in the Victorian home that formerly housed Amy’s Coffee House and Eatery.

Mustas said she and her husband, Michael, would often drive past the old home in the quaint downtown area and say that if it ever became available, they would snatch it up.

The couple felt it was the perfect venue for a wine bar, so they used inspiration from their travels to renovate the interior.

In just the first few days of business, Mustas said they have had repeat customers, despite not yet promoting the wine bar much. Customers can purchase wine by the glass or by the bottle on the premises and can shop in the retail area for a favorite.

Vina Mundi offers limited food, such as Wisconsin cheeses paired with wine, chocolates from Allo! Chocolat in downtown Waukesha, bread baskets and olive dishes.

The main bar at Vina Mundi in Genesee Depot.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

She said wine comes from all regions of the world and the business’s Latin name reflects that.

“We try to represent as many countries as long as we can get a quality wine,” Mustas said.

The largest number of wines come from the United States because they are more accessible. Many wines will be unknown to the customers, having come from small vineyards, although there are a few famous ones by companies such as Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Fifteen to 20 wines by the glass will be available daily, as well as wine flights.

“We have a lot of unique wines. Most of our wines are from small, family-owned vineyards,” Mustas said.

One California Merlot Vina Mundi carries was made only in a batch of 137 cases. Wines also range in price with some available for under $10 per glass.

Vina Mundi features small conversation or game-playing spaces along with the main bar and tasting bar.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

“We want to educate people who don’t know much about wine, but do it in a relaxed atmosphere,” Mustas said.

The couple wanted to create an environment where people could relax and even read a book. Or there is cribbage and Scrabble for those who wish to play a game. There are also areas for private events, as well as outdoor patio space for warm weather.

In the future there will be live music, such as jazz.

Vina Mundi will have a two-day grand opening celebration from noon to 11:30 p.m. May 2 and May 3, during which there will be free wine tastings and appetizers including gourmet cheeses from Wisconsin family farms. In addition, there will be live music and raffle prizes awarded throughout the day.

At a glance

What: Vina Mundi
Where: S42-W31428 Highway 83, Genesee Depot
Hours: Opens 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon Friday through Sunday
Grand opening: Noon to 11:30 p.m. May 2 and May 3
Info: 201-4021, www.vina-mundi.com