A Grape Pear Wine Boutique

509 Montauk Hwy., Eastport 631-801-2790

Jim Borruso and Krystle Harb haven't taken a day off since they opened their Eastport wine store on July 4. In fact, since they have no employees, they have done little else but attend to the new business.

They designed and built the store themselves, from the wood moldings and beautiful marble countertops, to the antique-looking hand-lettered price tags that hang around the necks of the wine bottles.

A Grape Pear is a small store (about 500 square feet) with a small selection (about 300 wines) from small producers (fewer than 1,000 cases a year). Popular, mass-market brands need not apply. "Nobody has ever heard of anything we sell," Harb said. The rarefied nature of the stock means that pretty much every customer needs personal attention from either Harb or Borruso. But that appears to be what many of their customers are looking for. In Eastport and its surrounding environs, there are liquor stores that sell wine, but no other sole wine stores. "We have customers from Eastport, from Center and East Moriches, a lot from Remsenberg - from all the surrounding areas, and even a few loyal customers who come from Holbrook and Smithtown," Harb said.

Despite the artisanal wines and elegant setting, the wine at A Grape Pear isn't especially expensive. Prices range from $9 to $104, but most of the bottles are in the $20 to $25 range. "We carry the wines that we drink," Harb said.

In November, Harb and Borruso are getting married. The couple is accustomed to vacationing in the world's great wine-producing regions, but for their honeymoon, they'll be heading to the vineyard-less Caribbean.