Wine peddler branches out with new Southside HQ

Native Selections has moved its headquarters to 1206 Dinwiddie Ave. (Mike Platania)

A local wine distributor is expanding in Southside.

Native Selections, which focuses on organic and natural wines from France, Spain and Italy, has moved its headquarters to 1206 Dinwiddie Ave., between Commerce Road and Jefferson Davis Highway in the Oak Grove area.

Shawn Eubank, a Virginia Beach native, started Native Selections in 2014 after moving to the Richmond area and previously co-founding Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville, Maryland.

Eubank studied agriculture and business at Virginia Tech, and said the pivot to wine distribution from production was inspired by his older brother, who’d started a similar business on the West Coast.

“Native Selections was a perfect fit to combine those interests (business and agriculture),” he said.

A selection of 2017 vintage French wines. (Native Selections)

“We started as a pilot project, just purchasing a pallet of wine. The barrier to entry was pretty low. It’s not crazy expensive to start a distribution business. Worst-case scenario was we’d have a lot of wine to drink in our cellars.”

The next few years, Eubank ran the business out of a warehouse on Jefferson Davis Highway, growing its distribution map to cover Richmond, Charlottesville, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and a few spots in Hampton Roads.

Last month he leased about 2,000 square feet at the Dinwiddie building and moved operations there. The company has a staff of four and is entirely self-funded.

While Native Selections has been around for a few years, there have been some new arrivals to the small local wine distribution scene recently, including Terres Blanches Wine Merchants and Plant Wines.

In describing Native Selections’ niche in organic and natural wines, Eubank said, “These wines aren’t adjusted for acidity or color or for any of the other things you can do to make a wine be stable in a certain way.”

“There’s been a pretty big growth in the market of natural wine, and by far you’ll see it more and more in the next few years.”

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