Fall Portfolio Tasting at Racine’s

Last week we hosted our second Portfolio Tasting for 2017 at Racine’s restaurant in Tribeca along with two other small importers and it was a huge success.  We were fortunate to have our newest winemaker Tim Malone of Timothy Malone Wines in town pouring his Oregon wines: Riesling, and Pinot Noir from Willamette and Dundee Hills. The event also gave us a wonderful opportunity to show new wines that will arrive this Fall from Rheinhessen, Germany: Heyl zu Herrnsheim.  This will be our first frolic into Germany and Oregon and we are very excited to see the market reaction.  Heyl produces some outstanding white wines and we will import some rieslings and a pinot blanc ‘Weisser Burgunder’.  Recently we also added wines from Alsace, Martin Schaetzel who produces small production Grand Cru wines that have been an immediate hit for us and showed great for the tasting.

We had a nice turnout with many wine professionals offering good feedback and praise for our new vintages from France and Italy and also a fresh evaluation on some GV standouts.

Things are looking great and we are very excited for the coming Fall season.  We had a record breaking summer of wines sales with the addition of very strong sales in New Jersey added to the steady increase in New York, sales were over 50% higher than a year ago in every month from May – August.  Connecticut continues to being a strong growth market for us and we hope the new year has us expanding outside the tri state market.

As always, thank you for your support, we are truly grateful for every customer and client we have and look forward to adding more this Fall.

Cheers!

A visit to Valle d’Aosta

Though this post is later than intended Anthony’s visit to Valle d’Aosta after Vinitaly was outstanding on every level.  Visiting this alpine region was a first and seeing this area nicknamed ‘extreme winemaking’ really brought it all to life.  Danilo Charrere the owner and winemaker of Le Clocher was a wonderful host and his new vintages did not disappoint.  The standouts soon to be imported were clearly his Petite Arvine, Gamay and Fumin – can’t wait to bring them into the US.  Truthfully the landscape was really the star since you are surrounded by the Alps [this region borders Switzerland and France on Italy's northwest] and the beautiful sunlight and cool mountain air create wines that are a combination of finesse and complexity.  Add in that the wines are made in a natural and organic ‘old school hands off’ manner and you have wines that will expand your wine drinking horizons for all time.

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Vinitaly 2017 – Verona

Vinitaly is always sheer mayhem because, well traveling and driving in Italy is already an extreme sport.

Vinitaly brings almost every Italian winemaker into one location for 4 days every year and no matter how prepared you are it always turns out to be one big puzzle.   This year I spent most of my time not looking for new producers but instead looking deeper within our current base of great Italian producers for some hidden gems that I wanted to re-taste.  That does not mean that there will not be something new coming soon since I did find something super rare and interesting but the all important negotiations of business still need to be worked out before I can say.

In the end the weather was outstanding, the food stellar and the new vintages were overall amazing.  Also Verona is a magical small Italian city with an old castle, a Roman arena and plenty of beautiful things to see therefore it is hard to make a trip like thisIMG_6758 anything but a success.

Our First Portfolio Tasting

On March 13th we continued to kick the ball forward and partnered with Vinotas Selections to offer to the wine trade our First Portfolio Tasting at the NY hotspot Terroir Tribeca.  We showcased 50 wines, which today is barely a 1/3 of our offerings so the hardest part for us was to whittle down the selections.  We tried to use the occasion to show some new wines and new vintages especially our new rose’s.   Wines like the Provence rose ‘Fleur’ from L’amaurigue were huge hits and we took many orders that day.   We met many new potential clients while many of our regular customers came to taste a bunch of wines at one setting.  FUN but exhausting too!

Wine Dinner with Fabrizio Testa of Frank e Serafico

In early February we had a wonderful evening at Gentleman Farmer in Fort Greene, Brooklyn where they prepared a special menu to go with the fabulous wines of Frank e Serafico.  It was a special evening because we had the winemaker Fabrizio [Frank] Testa visiting us and explaining all the details of his wines and his fairly new estate located on the Tuscan coast in the Maremma.  We began the evening with his Vermentino, then moved to his reds like Morellino di Scansano, Sangiovese and his blend called, what else? Frank!!  We finished up with a little dessert and paired it with L’armangia’s Moscate d’Asti di Canelli.  Great time!

Off and running in 2017…

We kicked February off with two visits from our winemakers. First to arrive was Ignazio Giovine of L’armangia [Piemonte] who was in the country to celebrate another year of winning Slow Wine awards from the Slow Food organization. It was a great visit as always since Ignazio has now visited us 4 years in a row.  His knowledge of wine and his ability to articulate in English is outstanding besides his wines continue to be stellar year in and year out.

Next up was Fabrizio Testa of Frank e Serafico and he was great as well.  These cult wines are some of our newest selections to our portfolio.  They are located in the Maremma area of Tuscany – south Tuscan coast to be clear.  The wines like Vermentino, Morellino di Scansano, Sangiovese and a blend called Frank have been met with widespread enthusiasm.  We capped off Fabrizio’s visit with a wine dinner at Gentleman Farmer Fort Greene and the food, wine and company were all top shelf! We [Anthony and Ben] even got a rare chance to take a photo together at the dinner.

Overall 2017 looks very bright, sales were up big in January thanks to all our great clients as well as the local consumer who seems interested more and more in artisanal wines that taste great and are not mucked up by lots of additives – and still at a fair price.

Cheers!

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