Divided for the sake of unity - that is how they roll at Divided Vine Beer and Wine Bar. With 36 beers and 36 wine choices, written on two humongous chalkboards, this is a place where both sets of drinkers can mingle together and be equally satisfied.
Owners Clayton Steffen and Jeff Attaway want all patrons to be happy with their imbibing experience so options at Divided Vine Beer and Wine Bar are split right down the middle.
Steffen and Attaway met working in the industry and would casually chat about venturing out on their own, together.
“I would tell Jeff, if I ever want to open up a bar, I’ll hit you up,” Steffen said. While working at Arizona Beer & Cider, Attaway sold his product to the Whining Pig, where Steffen was the buyer. Originally, Steffen was solely the beer buyer but when the wine buyer left the company, he quickly took over both beverages and fell in love with wine.
“At first it felt like the Imposters Syndrome but, I found myself learning so much and became fascinated by the depth of wine and where it took me,” Steffen said. His wine knowledge is accredited to on-the-job training and self-learning; he’s developed a special place in his heart for Willamette Valley, Oregon Pinot Noirs.
In October 2017 the dream became a reality and Divided Vine, with its 50/50 wine and beer philosophy, opened its doors in Gilbert. They always knew they wanted the kind of gathering place where regulars would frequent, a place where relationships are formed.
“We wanted to be that kind of neighborhood bar, because once you fill a place with energy it will all work out, a bar like ‘Cheers,'" Steffen said.
During the heart of the pandemic patrons showed an overwhelming amount of support, doing their part to keep Divided Vine alive and well.
One of my favorite things about Divided Vine is that they are dialed in on the Arizona wine scene. By this I mean, at any given time 25 to 40 percent of the wines on their menu are grown and produced in Arizona. They recognize what our beautiful state is doing in the industry and welcome winemakers to host tasting events. People can come and enjoy the informal educational experience, taste and make bottle purchases, should they choose to do so. Some of the local wines currently on the menu include Page Springs, Laramita, Tumbleweed and Burning Tree Cellars.
“The response has been phenomenal, you’d see people who previously dismissed Arizona wine be so impressed, even people from California. It’s going so well,” said Steffen.
Check their event schedule for the next opportunity to sip and learn about the wine country right here in your own backyard.
To accommodate the lovely libations, you’ll want to try some of their unique culinary bites. There are fun flatbreads and paninis on the menu, along with charcuterie boards and their in-house specialty-flavored popcorns. I am personally most intrigued by the flatbread with Alfredo based sauce, roasted chicken, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted whole garlic cloves on gluten-free cauliflower crust.
Other happenings at Divided Vine include live music every Saturday and sporadic trivia nights. Happy hour is open to 6 p.m. every day and all-day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with $2 off glasses of wine and pints of beer.
“We joke that we just want people to be happy,” Steffen said. This is the vibe you would get even if you had to pay full price; these guys have a laid-back persona and clearly have your best interest at heart.
In the future, you can expect more of the same kind of fun at Divided Vine; they are constantly updating their menu keeping the favorites with a rotational twist of interesting wine and beers. Additionally, the folks at Divided Vine strive to demonstrate that both wine and beer are meant to be enjoyed in the same fashion.
“Wine should be fun, not so serious, I feel like beer and spirits get all the fun but wine should really be in that group, too,” said Steffen.
Smart man, I can’t think of any reason in the world why Oenophiles and Zythophiles can’t coexist.
Divided Vine Beer and Wine Bar is located at 861 N. Higley Road, Suite 116, in Gilbert.
Hours of operation are from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Tuesday, 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday.
For more information, visit www.dividedvine.com.
East Valley resident Darla S. Hoffmann is a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at www.aboutwineinaz.com.