Our History

The Question that everyone always asks us is, "Why are you in the wine business?". The answer to that question is complicated but in retrospect we thought that it would be fun and romantic to have a little wine shop nestled in downtown Wheaton, Illinois. I still remember walking around downtown with my sister and brother-in-law and pointing to the small corner store where our first wine shop would be located. I kept telling him that this is a great spot for a wine shop and I think we're going to put ours here. Well we did and gosh have we learned a lot over the last years. While we still pause and think about this since what started out as a romantic dream that was fostered from several trips to Napa and living for 14 years on the edge of Washington State's wine country has now become a passion for Victoria.

As many of you know, we established Peterson Wine Cellars in the summer of 2002 and according to Victoria, “Our goal was to create a wine shop that provided a respectable selection of fine wines from throughout the world where people could come and taste a variety of different wines each week in a quaint tasting room that would remind them of their last trip to California.” In October of 2002, that goal was achieved with the opening of the first Peterson Wine Cellars in historic downtown Wheaton, Illinois. As life goes, you have to be prepared for reality and in April of 2005 we declined to renew our lease for the Wheaton store since the retail environment had been on a steady decline for the three years we were located there. As most retail experts will tell you, location, location, location.

On July 28, 2003, we opened a second store in downtown Naperville located at 35 West Jefferson Avenue. After a few successful years of incredible growth at this location, we decided it was time to open a larger store and move this location to what is now 119 S. Main Street. This is a great location and we have put in all the charm of our existing Jefferson store. It is convenient to both the VanBuren parking lot and the parking garage and is barely 50 yards from our current location on Jefferson Avenue.

Nearly three years of running our business as an exclusive wine store, we decided it was time to expand our wine business into the beer and spirits sector. On August 1, 2005, we acquired our second store located in South Naperville at the corner of 87th Street and Route 59. We purchased this store as Waterford Spirits and Fine Wines, eventually changing over the name to Peterson Spirits and Fine Wines.

For those that are familiar with our stores, wine is our passion and is the area of our greatest expertise. As a matter of fact, Victoria has really become quite the wine expert and her knowledge of wine and her palate literally amazes even the veterans in this business. Any way, it is important to know that all of our wine is hand selected by Victoria who also personally tastes each wine that is on our shelves. This method and approach assures you of a good wine with every purchase. In any given week, Victoria tastes over 100 wines, if not more. As you can see,the selection process for our wine is extremely demanding and we are sure you'll be pleased with our selections.

Now that you thought you knew everything about Peterson Wine Cellars, hold on - In May of 2007, Victoria and Lindsay took a group of our customers on our first trip to wine country in Italy. The trip was about 1 week and went phenomenally well. Everyone had a great time and Lindsay came back with new friends from Italy. See the picture with Franz Loacher in front of their house at the winery.

In October of 2007, Peterson Spirits and Fine Wines began offering our GoodWine4Less section on the Internet at our ecommerce store http://www.goodwine4less.com. Unfortunately, in November of 2008 we took the store off line. Its always fun to try something new and on occasion, you realize that the market isn't looking for what you're offering online. We've figured out that people still like to come in and touch the bottles before they buy them. Especially if it's something new that they've never heard of before. Since we specialize in boutique wines and not the mass merchandized and mass produced wines that people see everyday at the grocery store, most people aren't aware of them like our local customers are. With that said, as you all know, we have a reputation amonst our customers for finding hard to get wines, hand made wines, and wines that have the special touch the winemakers we use add to each wine they make.

In April of 2009 we opened our 3rd store located at 88 West Gartner Road in Naperville Plaza. The store used to be the Cabernet and Company location. They had been there since 2002. This store is our largest store and has 4,000 square feet. We have two walk in beer coolers. The beer coolers are stocked with arguably the best selection of cold beer in Naperville. Our selection of Microbrews, Craft Beers and imports rivals the big guys, except all of ours is cold.

 

Fast-foward to August of 2011 where we opened our 3rd Peterson Spirits & Fine Wines location making that a grand total of four Peterson locations in Naperville! Wow! Hard to believe how much has happened. However, this is our short but busy history. We are always looking for opportunities for expansion and so the story is just beginning. Stay tuned for the next store opening in your neighborhood.