We had the good fortune of connecting with Amie Nemec and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I think I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since childhood! In elementary school, I made bracelets and sold them to classmates. In junior high, I did detailed car washes on my parents’ friends’ cars. In high school, I built custom luxury dog houses. Is it bad to say, in college, I did research for cash. I supported my husband’s business in Austin for 17 years. When my he retired, it was time for me to pursue a passion and start another Perspective Cellars. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I could work for someone else! I love to solve problems and create with new ideas. And since I have been studying wine as a hobby for about 20 years now, it made sense to focus on the wine industry.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Nearly 20 years ago, my husband and I started to learn about wine. It wasn’t about just picking up a bottle when grocery shopping and drinking it. We started to ask about wine before purchasing, then getting home and doing online research on the producer, the region, and the grape. All this while working in healthcare to build his young practice. Eventually, I began offering fun evenings with friends where I would teach them what I had learned about different wines. We traveled to learn more about wine regions. And finally, I took my first Sommelier exam, just to see if I could pass. It was so fun, and I passed. We kept learning about wine and in 2017, our lives changed when my husband incurred an injury that left him not able to continue in his career. So, there we were, at age 45, needing to recreate ourselves. I had the idea to open a wine shop where I could showcase wines of Texas by comparing them with the same wines from other regions of the world. Within two weeks of my idea, Benjy had found a perfect spot on Main Street in Fredericksburg. We felt the Hill Country would be optimal for growing a new brand in the wine industry, so we could not only serve the wine-loving locals, but also be a part of the wine tourism that has grown so popular in this area. We opened the weekend of Thanksgiving in 2018, so we’re not even two years in business yet. With the challenges new businesses routinely face, plus the added stressers of a pandemic and a turn in the economy, this has been a tough start. On the other hand, people love to enjoy their wine, so its like I’m here, just making people happy every day! While starting our lives and careers again at 45 wasn’t what we planned, we were blessed to be able to start over and love the life we are building in this small town. And it’s an added benefit to have access to the wines of Texas and the world!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Most folks who visit our area stay for only two or three days. There’s a lot to pack into that short time. While wine tasting is a huge draw, there’s great non-drinking sites to see too! Or course, at Perspective Cellars, we offer daily tastings but also wine classes and special events, so checking out our calendar is a good idea. The City of Fredericksburg is useful for seeing events around town. Check out www.fbgtx.org for up-t0-date events around town and in the area. My favorite winery experiences would be: Sandy Road, Adega Vinho, Ab Astris, Calais, French Connection, Hye Meadow, Hilmy Cellars, and Lost Draw. And there are so many more! A unique experience is the Cheese & Wine Tasting with Carl at 4.0 Cellars. My go-to restaurants stretch from Johnson City to west of Fredericksburg. For breakfast, I recommend the Chiliquiles at Nury’s or pastries from Emma & Ollie’s. An easy spot on Main is El Milagro, which has great scones and migas in the mornings. For lunch, I love Tubby’s Icehouse for tacos and burgers – very fresh. Vaudeville is on Main and is my go-to spot for a fancy cheese board or the soup d’jour. If you’re out on the wine trail on 290, Sweetbriar Rose has my favorite chicken salad sandwich, but is only open on weekends. And Hye Thai can’t be beat, just east of the town of Hye. Bryan’s on 290 in Johnson City is one of my personal favorites and they do great winemaker dinners, which are every week right now. Otto’s is a big hit but can be hard to get a table. If you can get in, the duck schnitzel is a must! Cabernet Grill has my favorite steaks, next to my hubby’s! But I really love their beef short ribs. And for dessert, they offer a flight of house-made ice cream – yum! And another casual dinner spot is west of town at Hilltop Cafe where the food is fresh and the live music is always fun. For other activities, The Museum of the Pacific Wars is a popular spot on Main Street. Enchanted Rock is a must for folks who love hiking, the outdoors and great views. Hill Country Elephant Preserve is a unique experience for animal lovers. And then there are the beautiful country drives that offer a good chance to just think and enjoy!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While I will always credit my parents for instilling ethics and hard work into my character, I have to thank my husband, Benjy, for his support when I wanted to jump in with my own business. After supporting his career throughout our marriage, he has been nothing but a cheerleader for me in this new project. My idea for Perspective Cellars included us selling the new home we just built and moving to a new town, where we didn’t know a sole. Here we are, less than 2 years in business and with a whole new network of friends and supporters. But its Benjy who gets me through the challenges in the new company.
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