Former Valley teachers open up wine bar on Roosevelt Row

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Two former Valley teachers decided to leave the classroom to start a new business venture centered around Arizona wine!

For five years, Emily Rieve and Lindsey Schoenemann taught middle school together in Gilbert, but the teachers were looking for a new way to challenge themselves. 

"At the beginning, there were some nerves but I think we have always calmed each other down," Schoenemann said. 

In May 2017, they left their teaching positions to work full-time on creating a self-service wine bar.

"From the beginning, we have always worked really well together and we just knew it was time to put our passion and collaboration into a different project and challenge," Rieve said. 

At the beginning of January, Rieve and Schoenemann officially opened up their new place in the heart of Roosevelt Row.

GenuWine Arizona features a large self-serving wine machine, Arizona craft beers and build-your-own cheese boards. 

Their wine selection includes Arizona favorites like Carlson Creek, Page Springs and Arizona Stronghold. From Riesling to Syrah, GenuWine Arizona serves 24 different types of wine.

The centerpiece of the wine bar is the self-service wine distribution system allowing customers to try a variety of wine tastings or enjoy a glass or two of their favorites.

“Guests will be in full control of their wine experience,” Rieve said. “Whether it be tastes of various wines from across the state, or a glass of their favorite red, people can select the best option for them and even take home a bottle or two,” she added.

Guests will enjoy sipping on wine in this comfortable, charming and cozy space with couches, handmade tables and board games. 

"One customer made the comment, it's almost like a real-life Friends (referring to the popular TV sitcom), they can all just meet here, hang out, play games with wine instead of coffee," Rieve said. 

Rieve and Schoenemann along with their husbands did most of the work inside the wine bar themselves. They call it a labor of love!

“Our goal is to offer the area the perfect balance between an urban setting and a comfortable and fun hangout while providing delicious local wine and food,” Schoenemann said.

GenuWine Arizona is open Monday – Thursday, 3 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 1 p.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m. From 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on Monday – Friday, they serve happy hour with $2 off draft beers, $2 off full glasses of wine and $5 cheese board specials.

The wine bar is located at 888 N First Ave., Suite 101. For more information, call 602-682-7494.

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Kylee CruzArizona native Kylee Cruz joined CBS 5 News as a reporter in August 2014. You can catch her reporting every morning on CBS 5's "Wake Up Arizona!" and 3TV's "Good Morning! Arizona." She's also a fill-in weather anchor.

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Kylee Cruz

Before working in Phoenix, Kylee spent three years reporting for KXLY in Spokane, WA During her time in the Inland Northwest, Kylee reported on a wide variety of topics from winter snowstorms to summer wildfires, and regularly filled in on the anchor desk. Kylee grew up in Yuma and graduated summa cum laude from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. While in college, Kylee covered her first big story in Tucson when Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot. She was selected as the Cronkite School’s Outstanding Graduate and was even the university’s Homecoming Queen her senior year. Growing up, Kylee always knew she wanted to be a reporter. When she was just 6, her neighbor started calling her "Cub Reporter" because she asked so many questions. That curiosity has only grown over the years! When Kylee’s not reporting, she loves traveling, home decorating and trying out unique restaurants. She’s a bit of a foodie! Kylee’s always looking for a good story. If you have an idea, email her at kylee.cruz@cbs5az.com.

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