Bio for Robert Harllee, owner, Market Street Wineshops
Robert was born a preacher’s kid to two fourth-generation Floridians. He grew up in the Army living in such exotic locales as the Mojave Desert, Germany, and Fort Dix New Jersey. During this time he attended nine schools in twelve years. He received a BS in biology from the College of William and Mary, an MA in history from Emory University, and an “ABD” from The University of Virginia (All But Dissertation). He worked his way through college waiting tables, where he developed his interest in wine. He purchased the Market Street Wineshop Downtown in 1986 and opened the Market Street Wineshop Uptown in 1996. This enables him to travel to Italy once a year, where he encounters magical adventures along the wine route.
In 2005 The Hook, one of Charlottesville's two weekly papers, published an interview with Robert and the letter Robert later wrote expanding on the article.
HOTSEAT- Rosé-colored glasses: Robert Harllee's wine-tinted world
LETTER- Give Phil the credit
Every once in a while, the karmic circle does indeed complete its turn. When I purchased the Wineshop in 1986, founder Philip Stafford lived in New York City where he had started a wine importing business, USA Wine Imports, which he still owns. I got to know Philip on his frequent visits to Charlottesville and on those times when I had to call to say the monthly payment would be delayed due to tight cash flows. He has since returned to Charlottesville, planted a vineyard, and partnered with winemaking guru Michael Shaps in the new Virginia Wineworks located in the old Montdomaine Cellars in Keene. There they produce Michael Shaps high-quality eponymous label formerly made at the King Family Winery, the Virginia Wineworks line of affordable everyday wines, and operate a “custom crush” operation to vinify small lots of wine for winemakers, or anyone, who do not own a winery. Now, we sell wines that Philip has produced in the store he founded.