‘Come for the wine, stay for the experience:’ Corazón, new wine bar, to open soon

In this photo illustration, owner of the upcoming wine bar, Corazón, Nicholas Cheatham is seen cleaning and prepping his new work space on Aug. 11. “As an alum of Oregon State and past ambassador and club president,” Cheatham explained. “My ties to OSU are strong, so I want to provide a hub for OSU professionals and community members alike.”

Tarsa Weikert, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Corvallis local and Oregon State University alum Nicholas Cheatham is set to open Corazón, a new wine bar and bottle shop, in late October.

Corazón is expected to have a relaxed atmosphere that offers wines from across the Pacific Northwest, Spain and Mexico.

The wine bar will be located in downtown Corvallis, on 208 SW Second St. The anticipated hours of operation will be Wednesday to Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to  8 p.m. The business will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Corazón will be the premier destination for wine enthusiasts, industry professionals and the curious,” Cheatham said. “Come by for a glass of wine, pair it with some charcuterie, browse through our wine selection and find something new.”

Winemaker and vineyard manager Cheatham graduated from OSU in 2017 with a bachelor’s in food science and technology.  

Cheatham has lived in Corvallis for the last 10 years, since he started attending OSU in 2012. Much of Cheatham’s family members and extended relatives have also attended OSU, and because of this, Cheatham said he feels like he has lived in Corvallis for a lifetime.

“I want to provide a hub for OSU professionals and community members alike,” Cheatham said. “I want to support OSU wherever I can and give back to a community that gave a lot of opportunity to me.”

Cheatham’s vision is to create an event hub that has rotating special guests, exclusive wine tasting events and discussions. The idea for Corazón began in late 2019 when Cheatham explored the idea of owning a business and also finding a way to stay in Corvallis.

“I was brainstorming ideas for a business while I was at work. I listened to GaryVee podcasts day in and day out alongside other winemaking podcasts,” Cheatham said. “Admittedly, I was a bit bored with the job I was doing, and it gave me the fuel for the initial concepts for Corazón.”

After putting a business plan together with his sister Monique Cheatham, who is also an OSU alum, the idea was put aside when the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on America.

“I felt like it was time to step away from full-scale wine production and resurrect that business idea we had set aside a few years earlier,” Cheatham said. “I knew I wanted to bring the essence of the world-class wine region that is the PNW to Corvallis, and I wanted to add a bit of Latin flair to the experience.”

Cheatham said part of his heritage is Mexican, and his winemaker partner Kinser Nyden loves Spain and their wines, so the theme made sense.

“I wanted to tie the name of the space with Corvallis, so Corazón was so appropriately named because Corvallis is Latin for ‘heart of the valley,’” Cheatham said. “I just shortened that name a bit to Corazón, which is just ‘heart’ in Spanish.”

Nyden, OSU alum and the communication director at Earthfort, grew up in Corvallis and is excited for the new adventure with Cheatham.

I have been lucky enough to join Nick on this path, following his dream, where we can build a really cool space and customized experience together,” Nyden said.

Throughout the journey of creating Corazón, Cheatham had support from multiple family members. Cheatham’s father Joe Cheatham has a personal financial investment in the business, while his sister and partner contributed to the final product of the business.

The experience we have to offer will be our primary ‘product,’” Nyden said. 

Cheatham said he would also like to establish connections with the OSU enology department—enology refers to the study of wines—and the Oregon Wine Research Institute, which was created from a partnership between the Oregon wine industry and OSU.

Cheatham hopes to support small wine producers and other local businesses. For more information, visit Corazón’s Instagram @corazon.corvallis.

“I’m very excited to build a community and have customers enjoy themselves and learn about wines and network and explore the world through wine,” Cheatham said. “Come for the wine, stay for the experience.”