A Savannah native and now a longtime Ponte Vedra resident, Allen Horne previously owned Manuel’s Deli and Wines. Now, he works at Coastal Wine Market & Tasting Room in Nocatee.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
When I got out of school, I went to work for a large Fortune 500 company. I started out in sales and ended up in marketing. We were bought out, which would have meant a move to Dallas. My wife and I decided to stay here, and it had been a dream to get involved in the wine business. We ended up buying Manuel’s Deli and Wines in Ponte Vedra. After owning that for several years, I now work at Coastal Wine Market & Tasting Room in Nocatee.
What do you miss most about Manuel’s?
I met some really, really good people. Some of them are lifelong friends. Therefore, I miss the relationships between folks who really knew the nuances of wine and those I was able to help and get started on their own wine experiences.
How did you end up at Coastal Wine Market? What makes it special?
I was doing consulting work and eventually decided to retire. After a few months, I was really getting antsy to get back in the wine business. I saw Steve Lourie and his wife Shaun were opening a market in Nocatee. I got lucky and they brought me on. I couldn’t be with anybody better. These guys have started a place in Nocatee that is almost like “Cheers.” You see the same people in there all the time. You get to know them, you get to be friends with them. It’s a great way for people out there to meet their neighbors.
What makes you so passionate about wine?
When I worked in Corporate America, I covered Western Europe, and Bordeaux was part of the territory. We did some business with a few wineries there, and it didn’t take long to get hooked. Wine became a large part of our holiday meals. To me, it’s all about sharing wine with family and friends. I believe I have passed this love of wine to my children.
What are your favorite parts about Ponte Vedra?
My favorite things about Ponte Vedra aren’t even the obvious ones, like the beach and golf. It’s the sense of community and all the friends I have made here. It’s a friendly, friendly place. The people are just warm, and everyone seems to want what’s best for everybody else here. It’s like you’re on vacation all the time. The lifestyle is so relaxed and easygoing, which fits me because I’m not a big city guy. I feel fortunate to have been able to be here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Even at this point, there isn’t much of that. I love to travel, play golf and follow college football and baseball. I enjoy sitting on my porch sharing wine with my family and friends. Pretty simple, really!