Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 State of the Wine Biz

And so another year bites the dust.  It's been 12 months of ups and downs, both personally and professionally.  More ups, I'm happy to say, with lots of good wines, some great bottles, and of course some duds.  I've also met some terrific folks, had some amazing meals, and traveled to some great new places (I'm looking at you New Orleans and Chicago).  In fact I was so busy that I didn't have the time/energy/superpowers necessary to update this blog as much as I wanted to.

All in all, it's been a banner year, and 2013 is looking even better.  Looking back and forward, I've had some time to think about the current state of the wine business, and there's both good and bad news.  

The bad: it's still frustrating to represent small-grower wines when people instinctively reach for the big brands.  Now, I don't blame them, the marketing dollars mean that those names are always at the front of their brains when they're in the wine store.  But it would be nice (and not just for me but for all small importers) if more people were more adventurous.  The good: the number of folks willing to try new wines is growing by leaps and bounds, so there's something positive to say about the situation.  They're also realizing that wine isn't meant to be just a cocktail but is meant to compliment and add to a meal with friends and family.

Most frustratingly, the wine business is still full of large-scale brands made by coops and factories instead of the small farmers we try to support.  They and their distributors aren't afraid to take a loss to maintain market share, which makes it difficult for small guys like me to compete.  Not impossible, just harder than it should be.  I know, I know, every single small business owner probably says the same thing.  So be it.

2012 also seems to have been the year of the Natural Wine.  There were lots of debates about what they were (there is no official definition aside from "un-manipulated", which itself can be left open to interpretation).  What was left unsaid, frankly, and I might get some flack for this, but who cares, and is the Natural Wine movement's dirty little secret, is exactly that: too many of these wines taste like dirt, with rotten meat and poopy notes.  Basically, many of these wines are undrinkable by all but a small geeky crowd.  Most civilians who try some of these science experiments will never want to touch a bottle again.  In short, there's way too much bad "natural" wine out there using the term as a marketing and selling tool instead of focusing on increasing the quality of their products.  I'm not saying all natural wines are bad, but quality needs to improve a lot more before they become more popular.  Here's hoping to that in 2013 as many of these wines can be interesting and wonderfully alive when they're good.

Critics also seemed to be losing ground to the virtual cloud of tasters represented by social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc...), forums (like Wine Berserkers) and aggregator sites (like CellarTracker).  The most traditional site, The Wine Advocate, was sold to a small group of Asian investors, meaning that Robert Parker, the uber-critic for decades, is heading into the twilight of his career.  But these are mainly frequented by the more hard-core wine geeks, whereas the general public still constantly asks what scores wines have gotten.  Again, I don't blame them, it's a symptom of the mystery that still surrounds wine.  

Speaking of which, I'm glad to report that the US is opening its palate at a dizzying pace.  My travels this year within the country have shown me that, despite what I wrote above, a larger number of people are thirsty for more than just the big brands.  They're genuinely curious and interested in trying new things.  This helps to de-mystify this wonderful beverage we call wine.  The more people start experimenting with new wines, new grapes, new vineyards and new countries, the better it is for everyone.

Perhaps I'm an optimist, but I really do see some great things coming in 2013.  Not just for me (though it is my blog so I could be excused for just focusing on myself, which I assure you I won't do, dear Reader).  But for the whole wine-drinking world.  More higher-quality wines at better prices from more places, some of them coming to our shores for the 1st time.  

It's been said before, but there has never been a better time to be drinking and exploring the wide world of wine than now.

Cheers and Happy and Healthy New Year!
Stay Thirsty!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Make mine a Minervois

The Minervois is an appellation that I just adore.  It’s absolutely wild and gorgeous, and the best wines showcase this terroir.  The better examples have a certain spiciness and minerality that you don’t always find in the region.  However, too many are jammy and flabby or are trying to respond to what they think are “market tastes”.  And, granted, it is HOT around these parts.

So when I met Anne-Marie Coustal and her husband Roland (isn’t that a cool name too?) at a local tasting held in an ancient abbey, I found myself going back several times to their stand.  Their wines were alive and had a certain nervosité (a nervous energy), as they say in French.  Turns out there’s a reason why: they are hand-making wine using old-fashioned traditional methods on some very, very rough and uneven soils.

 The Coustals took over the winery from Anne-Marie’s parents in 2001, just before her father, Georges, the winery’s namesake, passed.  They farm 12 hectares (29.65 acres) in small, stony plots between Tourouzelle and Castelnau d’Aude.  Their vines, aged between 10 and 60 years old, are densely planted (4500-5500/ha) in some wild terrain, surrounded by guarrigue and woodland.  Sustainable agriculture while leaning organic is the preferred practice in their rocky plots, and everything is manually harvested with berry triage to ensure the quality and health of the grapes.  The temperature-controlled fermentation is slow, varying between 22 and 35 days depending on the cuvee and the vintage.  Unfiltered, unfined, their AOC wines are gorgeous, spicy, well-balanced, medium- bodied reds from Syrah, Grenache, Carignan , and Mourvèdre.  This is a true family affair, one to pay attention to.

The first wine to arrive, their Et Cetera (see label at top- 40% Grenache, 40% Carignan, 20% Syrah) is a bright yet dark juicy-fruited wine with some red berry notes dancing on a medium-bodied frame with a core of minerality, that ends in a long, succulent finish.  A stunner at this price point, that’s for certain.

It's a real honor to be importing these wines.  My customers quickly recognized their quality, and so they've just gone off to Chicago and New Orleans, as well as NY and NJ, so we might be on to something here.  Seeing that makes me giddy, and not just for the business side.  I love finding little gems like this.  If you try this wine, please let me know what you think.

And thanks for your support!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Introducing Terre du Sol Wines

Pretty label, right?

If you've been reading this blog (and I mean, who hasn't, right?), you know I don't pick up new wines that often.  Heck, after 4 years of doing this, I only have 14 French wineries and 1 Spanish winery.  Of course, things come and go, but I'm old-school and believe in cultivating long-term relationships with my growers.  This, to me, is the best way to maintain and guarantee high quality.

So when I add a new winery, it's cause for celebration.  Well, this year, we've added 2 new ones, a Minervois that I'll talk about in another blog posting (this also gives me the incentive to write another post) and a lovely light-bodied wine from the edge of the Mediterranean.  So, first, let's talk about Terre du Sol, from the Languedoc-Roussillon.

I don't usually go in for wines like this, but I was shocked at the quality and the price points involved.  For legal reasons, I can't identify the parties involved, but one of our best winemakers has been consulting for other wineries for years.  When one of their clients made something special, my phone rang and I was told to head over to the winery post-haste.  I jumped and grabbed the first train heading south out of Montpellier.  I arrived to find a table full of samples awaiting me…

After a long morning of tasting (woe is me, right?), I was convinced we’d found something truly special here: some excellent wines at excellent prices.  They were well-made, with beautiful fruit and  minerality, really nicely balanced.  And, frankly, the label was very pretty (I know, I know, but we all know that marketing counts a lot).

Seriously, no one should ever be disappointed when they open a bottle at these prices.  I mean, there has to be a way for quality to co-exist with value in this type of wine.  And so with our winemaker’s experience and advice, there’s a certainty of excellence. 

“Terre du Sol” means Land of the Sun in the local dialect.  Grapes for these wines are grown on stony soils at the edge of the Mediterranean and bask in the sun year-round.  Delicious and easy to drink, they follow my philosophy of trusting small family winemakers to make affordably delicious wines.  They really are like sunshine in your glass (sorry for being corny but it's true!).

I am starting with Le Roujal, a blend of unoaked Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and a drop of Merlot that is full of bright but dark fruits, with a medium body, some meaty notes, and a mid-length finish.  Talk about the perfect Fall/Winter wine, this just screams sunshine and a light mood, something in need during the dark cold months ahead of us.

So look for this label in your local fine wine establishment, the cases are hitting the streets just now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vinotas Selections in the News!

Well, sort of.

Disclaimer: utterly shameless self-promotional plugging ahead, be warned.

As you can imagine, it always makes me happy to see my hard work rewarded, and not just by sales (though of course that's the best, I'll admit).  I love seeing the smiling face of someone discovering one of our wines and realizing that those from small growers have a particular character, a soul, a certain je ne sais quoi to them.  But I also love getting some recognition in the press (hey, I'm only human, after all).

So it was a pleasure to chat with Simone Gubar from the Columbia Business School alumni magazine, who was doing a lovely article on people following their passions.  Wine being a passion of mine, as you might know by now.  We chatted a bit on the phone, and what came out was a very nice article detailing my efforts in trying to find and preserve small family wineries.

You can read it here:

What do you think?

Monday, October 08, 2012

It's that time of the year...

Yes, it's that time of the year again, when the leaves turn orange, the birds fly south, and the grapes ripen on the vine.


Old-vine grapes being picked at Clos Bagatelle in St Chinian

Back in 2006 I worked the harvest in Burgundy, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy, and I was 6 years younger than now.  I had pains in places I didn't know existed, and some in places I wished I had never discovered.  That said, it was a magical experience that I'd happily do again if I were younger.  MUCH younger.  At this point in my life, I prefer to sit back and try to move these amazing wines, and let the pros handle harvest.  

Into the bin with you, my pretties

Well, harvest has been going on now for a while in the South of France, but my winemakers being busy and all, they are only now getting around to sending me pics and reports.

Anyone want some St Jean de Muscat grapes?  These are Christine Deleuze's brother's pickings, he'll make an amazing sweet wine from it

2012 has been a very difficult year in most of France, Spain and Italy.  Between lousy weather, heat waves, hail and problems with mildew and oidium in the fields (especially in Champagne, where a tornado actually touched down in the vineyards), my winemakers have been super busy.  Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting harvest reports from our wineries (assuming the winemakers haven't passed out from exhaustion), with maybe a few pictures (again, assuming the winemakers remember what I keep asking them for!).  So stay tuned.

Here's the first report from Clos Bagatelle in St Chinian (full picture album is on our Facebook Fan page at - become a Fan!): the year started tough, with cool and wet weather followed by summer hear waves, but September was warm with cool nights, which kept the grapes fresh, maintaining the levels of acidity we've come to expect from Christine's wines.  As they say in France, September makes the wine, meaning that the entire year can be crappy, but if September is nice, then you'll have some good wines.  However, volumes are down by 20%, something I'm seeing across the board.  Still, quality and color are looking good, but we'll know more early next year.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beaune… Rhymes with Home

Beaune rhymes with home...

OK, well maybe not that much, but in my mind it does, and that’s all that counts.

Troglodytes on the Loire

I took the sloooooooooooooow train from Angers to Beaune, a leisurely 6 hour ride on a TER (ironically that stands for Train Express Regional, which, I suppose if you weren’t going from one side of the country to the other, it might qualify as). One interesting thing about following the Loire upstream was passing by its renowned chalk cliffs and hillsides, into which intrepid folks had dug charming homes and wineries. I once stayed in one of these so-called “troglodyte” places, in a B&B outside Azay-le-Rideau. My room was an old kitchen complete with bread oven, dug right into the living rock. Super cool.

Streets suffused with history

I arrived in Beaune at 9:30pm and started walking into town. I couldn’t help but grinning immediately: it had been 4.5 years since I’d last been here, and I was happier than a schoolboy on Christmas morning. I didn’t care that it was freezing, I didn’t care that my laptop bag kept falling off my suitcase on the uneven cobblestones, I didn’t care that it was pitch black and there was no one out: I was home.

Place Monge

There’s something about Beaune and Burgundy for me. The first time I visited, I felt like I was coming home, as if I actually belonged here. Maybe in a past life, I was a Burgundian Duke or winemaker (more likely a peasant, but hey, I’d have lived in Burgundy!). To me, this is IT. This is the vinous Holy Land. I do love other wine regions, but my soul belongs here. I don’t know how or why, that’s just the way it is. Your money may vary.

Hey, nice house!

And that, however, is the key word: money. To enjoy these wines, money is what you need these days. Wines from the area have shot up in price as their popularity has increased, which sucks for those of us on a budget. And it certainly doesn’t help that the better ones are made in tiny quantities. Of course, they’re much cheaper at the source, so I took advantage of that… But I was here for work, not play, or at least not that much play.

Love these guys

I was here to meet some new winemakers and visit some old friends at better-known domaines like Dujac, Jadot, and Evening Land/Lafond. Whitney Woodham, a friend from NYC who’s the GM for Evening Land, generously drove me around, and as we passed from one legendary medieval village to another I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. The sun shone on naked vines carpeting the eastern side of the valley as we wandered, and I leaned forward hungrily, trying to drink in all the sights in case I didn’t come back for a while.

Whitney poses in front of the Evening Land offices

My tastings went pretty well, I am happy to report, though there’s a lot of work left to be done, as usual. Pricing is relatively stratospheric, especially to someone used to dealing with much lower price points. With the economy improving and my network of customers asking for better wines, I want a Burgundy. So we’ll see. Keeping fingers, toes, ears, eyes and tongue crossed…

Jadot's chai

I should add that the 2010 reds/whites at the places I tasted were very nice, with pure fruit and exceptional structure, reminding me of slightly warmer, more balanced 2008s. Now that’s a vintage I’m really enjoying for its pure red fruit and bright acidity. As for the 2011s, well, it’s a tough call as they haven’t even gone through malo yet, but there was excellent potential in the ones I tried. Of course, with Burgundy, there's always one rule year in, year out: producer, producer, producer.

Oooooooooh sooooo good

My four days in Beaune flew by in a flash. There were several wonderful dinners with some lovely wines, new acquaintances were made, old friendships were rekindled, and despite the freakishly cold weather (5°F one morning, you read that right) the sun was bright, the sky was blue, and there was a spring in my step. I boarded the slow TER back to Angers with more than a tinge of regret. I promise I’ll be back, Beaune, and sooner than 4.5 years. That, I promise you.

Au revoir ma Belle Bourgogne!
PS: Pictures of Burgundy can be found HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Geektime in Angers

The Chateau with a sprinkling of snow

Just when I thought I had geeked out enough on Organic or Biodynamic wines in Montpellier, here came the real geek shows in Angers, in the Loire Valley: La Renaissance des Terroirs, La Dive Bouteille, and the new Salon des Vignerons Bio (because another one is what’s really needed…), one after another. Basically three days of non-stop small producer Organic, Biodynamic or Natural wines being poured by the winemakers themselves, usually in absolutely stunning settings.

The center of Angers

Angers is a small lovely city in the Loire Valley. It’s very old, and sort of looks like what I imagine a scrubbed down medieval 5th and 6th Arrondissement in Paris would look like without all the knights, the peasants or the Plague. It’s always a pleasure to be there, even if in winter it can be pretty cold and humid. Luckily, we have lots of yummy wines and delicious food to keep us warm.

The Renaissance des Appellations Show

First up: La Renaissance des Appellations at the ancient Greniers St Jean. This stunning setting almost overwhelms you when you enter, with high ceilings, gorgeous wooden arches and stone pillars embracing the thirsty crowd. The room is quickly filled with Natural, Organic or Biodynamic fans, both journalists and buyers. Some of the favorites of the geek crowds are always in attendance (Pinon, Huards, Larmandier, etc…), and their tables are always crowded. There are also lots of interesting new producers, and it's a thrill to discover something new and delicious. Still, despite the increasing quality of the wines, there are still way too many bad examples using their labels as marketing tools. Natural/Organic/Biodynamic should not be an excuse for sloppy winemaking.

The Chateau de Brézé

The next day was the Main Event that I'd been really looking forward to: La Dive Bouteille. If I thought the Greniers St Jean were beautiful, the Château de Brézé outside Saumur, where this tasting takes place, is absolutely stunning. This breathtaking castle has very steep moats that were never filled with water, and there are stairs that lead to caves cut into its sides, where the tastings were held.

The caves fill up

This tasting is much more informal, as the winemakers stand next to overturned barrels and pour you their wines. You pretty much spit onto the cave floor, which is always fun. Each cave has several regions, and you can find some pretty amazing wines here. Again, there are some crappy ones too, but that’s to be expected. There’s a lot more energy here among both the presenters and the attendees, it’s more like a wine geek festival than a business meet and greet like the Renaissance. Which is fine by me.

Jean-Pascal and Pascal say "bonjour"

I was joined by my Muscadet producer Jean-Pascal Aubron and my Azay-le-Rideau winemaker Pascal Pibaleau, both of whom have a natural curiosity and love discovering what their neighbors are doing (warning, I’m biased about them as I think they’re doing some great work, so deal with it. It’s my blog after all). As we bounced from barrel to barrel, it was so thrilling to hear them compare notes with their friends. Why’d you do this? Why’d you do that? How’s this turning out? As a wine-lover, and someone who loves learning how things are made, this was beyond cool. And MAN were some of those wines good.

The new Salon des Vignerons Bio de la Loire

Finally, the newest show on the block arrived, and this was more like a Renaissance-light than something completely different. That said, there were many more small and younger wineries, which can be both good (high quality, exciting wines), and bad (high prices, small production, or just plain bad wines). Pascal was showing his wines here too, so it was great catching up with him as he’s such a wonderful person, full of warmth and humility despite the quality of his wines.

That night, Jean-Pascal drove in from his winery in Vallet to join us for a long, delicious and wine-soaked dinner, my last one in Angers for a week. I said my sad farewells to them, only to be reminded that we’d be seeing each other in a few days at the huge Salon des Vins de la Loire.

Finally, off to BURGUNDY!!!!

PS: Here's a full album of pictures from La Dive Bouteille for your enjoyment.
PPS: There are also picture albums of Domaine Sauvaire-Reilhe and Chateau la Croix des Pins in that Facebook folder.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

InterMezzo Visits

Domaine Sauvaire-Reilhe's 16th Century tower

After Millesime Bio, I had some time before the next round of shows in Angers, in the Loire, so I headed off to Crespian, in the Coteaux du Languedoc, north of Nîmes. Yes, I was going to be abusing my palate some more, er, I mean tasting more wine, but this time at the domaines themselves. I was there to see Hervé Sauvaire, owner and winemaker at Domaine Sauvaire-Reilhe. His family has owned this winery since the 1600s, when one of his ancestors received it as a wedding gift. Talk about a generous present!

Old-vine Carignan

Their home still has a 16th century tower, though of course it’s been renovated. Hervé met me at the train station and we drove up into his vineyards, located on rocky hillsides around his house. He’s got some crazy old vine Grenache, Carignan and Vermentino, as well as Syrah, planted in super rocky soils. When you see where these vines grow, you wonder how they can survive let alone thrive.

The winery- look Ma, no oak!

Hervé shares his chai with 2 other winemakers, and while one of them does use oak, Hervé does not. To me, this keeps the wines fresh and light on their feet, with bracing acidity balancing out the beautiful, deep minerally fruit. And while his winemaking’s not “Certified” Organic or Biodynamic or Natural, he does take loving care of his soils, as they have fed his family for centuries with the quality of his wines. And I’m not the only one to think so, his wines have been selling very well in the NY market, which makes me very happy.

Say Bonjour to Hervé!

Hervé himself is really lovely and down to earth, with huge hands that have been weathered by years in the vineyards. He’s serious, but a smile comes easily to his face. It’s people like him that make this business worthwhile. Getting them the recognition for their work is something that delights me, and just recharges my batteries. So after a hearty lunch of bull stew (a local specialty that was delicious) and his wines, off I went to see my newest winery, in the Ventoux, Croix des Pins.

Bienvenue to Croix des Pins

Croix des Pins was an old and crumbling property until Jean-Pierre Valade and two of his wine-making friends got together and started renovating it. They also purchased some vineyards at the foot of the steep Dentelles de Montmirail mountains, all old-vine Syrah and Grenache on terraced hillsides. Using Organic principles, their goal is to make wines that are pure expressions of their local terroirs. Yeah, every winemaker says that, but at the end of the day the proof is in the bottle. These wines are crisp, spicy representations of their appellations, Ventoux, Gigondas and Crozes Hermitage. And I’m not the only one to think that, Steve Tanzer’s Rhône reviewer Josh Raynolds scored them well:

And thus another long, lusty dinner with lots of wine ensued, and lots of laughter. These are soulful, good-humored folks who are thrilled to be bringing these vineyards back to life. And I’m really happy to be able to represent them in the US.
Gnarly old vines


Monday, January 30, 2012

Millesime Bio 2012

Every year, a horde of thirsty wine buyers makes its way to Montpellier for the annual Organic and Biodynamic wines trade show, Millesime Bio. It doesn’t hurt that the show takes place in the South of France, where the ambient temperature upon arrival was 60F. For reference, despite a relatively mild winter, when I left New York it was 28F and we were delayed 2 hours while the plane was de-iced. Lovely.

Le Choo-Choo arrives

Usually I fly straight from Charles de Gaulle, but this year I took the TGV from the airport to Montpellier. Happily enough, I ended up doing a Grand Tour of France through some of my favorite wine regions, heading East through Champagne, South through Burgundy and the Rhône, then West through the Languedoc to get to my goal. And it only took 4 hours! Looking out the window as we flew at airliner speeds, I had to smile: even now, with years of experience under my belt, it always amazes me that such a small country (slightly larger than the state of New York) has so many different landscapes. From the flat green fields and farms of the north to the undulating rocky forests in the East to the dry bare stone of the South, this country has scenery for everyone.

Welcome to a wine trade show

The trade show itself is several halls worth of wines that have been made according to Organic and Biodynamic principles. It’s also (sadly) still an excuse for a lot of people to make a lot of bad wine. That said, and my blazé attitude aside, there are some really stunning things to be found these days. Of course, this also depends on the price, but that’s the nature of the business (and a business it is, make no mistake about that).

Row upon row of wine

When these wines taste good, they’re great, really bright, living things, expressive of their origins and of the care the winemaker put into the vines and the winemaking. When they’re bad, they can (sometimes literally) smell and taste like shit. Bad Organic/Biodynamic wines take on an odd, nearly BO-like aroma and get sharp spiky notes in the mouth. Good Organic/Biodynamic wines, to put it mildly, go down smooth and feel alive, with vibrant fruit and lovely acidity and minerality.

Pascal Pibaleau at his stand

The first thing that hits you when you walk through the door is the smell: it smells like WINE. And that just brings a smile to my face. For two and a half days, I wandered the tables of Millesime Bio, stopping to see people I knew and meet people I needed to know. I also had the chance to hang out with one of my winemakers, Pascal Pibaleau, who makes biodynamic sparkling, whites and reds in Azay-le-Rideau in the Loire (yummy stuff too but I am biased, of course). By the end of Day One my teeth hurt like Hell, and I’m pretty sure I yelped the moment the toothpaste hit them that first night (for those who don’t know, young wines tend to have lots of acidity, and that sensitizes the enamel on your teeth).

Like an evil wine-swilling Santa Claus, I had made my list and checked it twice, I knew which wines were naughty (already imported) and which ones were nice (undiscovered). Let’s face it, you can’t go in there without some homework: it would be like visiting the Louvre with no real clue of what works of art you wanted to see. You’d end up getting lost for days and someone would have to call Seal Team 6 to rescue you.

And for the record, it’s not an orgy of foie gras and cheese (sadly). In fact, most of the meals were pretty well-balanced, though the best part was sitting with various random winemakers and trying their wines at the table. I mean, wine is made to be both convivial and served with food, so this was a great showcase for them. As opposed to the relatively scientific method employed when standing in front of a table trying not to spit wine into your neighbor’s glass.

I will say that I still do love going to a table full of anticipatory dread, sort of like a child on Christmas Day running to the tree, hoping to unwrap something good but also hoping it’s not brown socks. More often than not in my line of work, it’s brown socks (some of these wines actually smelled/tasted similar to what I imagine old brown socks would be like). The worst part is finding something that’s delicious and checks off all your requirements, only to discover that it’s WAY too expensive. Talk about deflating your dreams…

On this trip, I found a few wineries I would love to work with, but there’s a lot of negotiations to be had before any hard decisions can be made. I was also lucky enough to have the time to visit some wineries I am working with south of Montpellier (there’s nothing like a few hours in the warm sun on a mid-January day to revive the batteries), as well as see another one of my winemakers, Christine Deleuze of Clos Bagatelle in St Chinian (while she doesn’t make Organic/Biodynamic wines, she does make some damn delicious ones using sustainable practices - again, I am shamelessly unapologetically biased, deal with it).

But it’s not easy: you’re on your feet all day from 8am to 5-7pm, there are long dinners afterwards with customers or winemakers, and your liver is just taking a heck of a beating even with the spitting, not to mention what must be happening to your teeth. And frankly, let’s not forget when you stumble onto a bad wine and have to remain poker-faced as the winemaker tells you his family’s been doing this for hundreds of years and thinks they’ve got the secret to success. Good luck with that one.

All in all, however, I am happy to report that there is a definitive qualitative trend that’s pointing upward. More people are making good Organic/Biodynamic wines at relatively affordable prices than at any other time. All it takes is the right importer to bring them in (Me! Me!).

Saturday, January 28, 2012


After a tad over a year of posting on a f*$&#ng pain in the ass server, we're back where we started, on Blogspot. Their ease of use and clean lines make us think we really screwed up by going somewhere else, so we sincerely apologize.

Come back and I promise to blather on incessantly about the wines I try to import into the US, I promise.

Oh, and now we're also on Twitter, which I'm pretty sure is a sign of the Apocalypse... But if you want to follow us, we're at @VinotasWines

I have to say, it's good to be back.