Distributor Advice Needed

Hey everyone, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but I am a firm believer in the “If you never ask, you’ll never find out” theory. So here goes…

I am a wine broker specializing in (what I consider) high-quality, small to mid-size family wineries that retail under $25 (http://www.Vinotas-Selections.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). So I am seeking small to mid-sized distributors/importers throughout the US (and elsewhere) who would be good matches for my portfolio. I have three wholesalers here in NY/NJ/CT who sell my wines (they are extremely happy with them, I might add) and 1 in the Northwest, and they are all passionate about quality wine and proud to represent their wares. I really doubt my wines would find a happy home at places like Southern, Empire, etc… and frankly I don’t want to deal with massive behemoths like that.

So basically, based on that information, what small/mid-sized distributors would you recommend in your areas? Feel free to PM me too if you’d like.

Thanks in advance, I really appreciate any assistance, and again, I apologize if this is not the right forum for this type of question. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…
Cheers! [gen_fro.gif]

Michel - up here in Nor Cal, Wine Wise in Oakland is pretty good, although they are very small.

West Coast Wines and Hunter Boone are very good. H

Send me a bottle or two and I’ll see what I can do if you want…

Tony, thanks for the recommendations. [drinkers.gif]

Michel - shoot me an email at avelebil@yahoo.com

I do know some folks and will put in a good word for you…

After reading about that one in the NYT, you have to get a Massachusetts Dist. so i can buy some

Come to California. PLease! [beg.gif]

Chambers & Chambers?

Too big?

How much volume are you talking?

Depends, some producers are somewhat tiny (6 hectares), others mid-sized, but right now things are working nicely.

Zach, Sarah, I’m trying, I’m trying!

Michael, I know all of the AZ distributors. The problem is that the small boutique houses do not sell much French wine.
If you would like names nevertheless, pop me an email.
Best Jack

Tony, Jack, you have email. [give_heart.gif]

I sent the info to your contact at your site Michel.


It’s a tough time right now for small to medium distributors to pick up new brands. They are trying to keep the brands they have selling in this tough econony.

Just be patient and don’t give up. Things will come around, and the right distributor will fall into place for you. It’s really about long term relationships, so take your time and find the right people to represent your brands.

Great to meet you at FFII…best of luck with everything and keep on bustin’ the gauntlet!


Thanks for the encouragement T-Bone!

I’m all about long-term relationships, and those I do have are working out really well. My wines are selling very nicely in all the markets they’ve entered, and both wine geeks and regular consumers respond well to them (so far). Call me a contrarian, but I think this is the best time to start a company (granted, I’ve been doing this a year, now).

My favorite quote was from a non-ITB’er at a tasting: “Your wines taste more expensive than they actually are.” [dance2.gif]

Michael, I used to work for Epic Wines, a small to medium sized distributor out of Aptos (near Santa Cruz in Northern California). We had reps all up and down California and we had niche brands like Mas de Daumas Gassac and Chateau Musar. Owners Rob and Jane Prough are great people.
No interest other than I used to work for them. http://www.epic-wines.com

Good luck!

Ironically my Epic rep was just here to show me a Phillip Melkka new wine. They are a great company to deal with and I’m fortunate to have an equally great rep.

Thanks Alex!

Florida: http://www.stacolewines.com" onclick=“window.open(this.href);return false;
Texas: http://www.avantebeverages.com/” onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Merci Daniel!


Charles River Wine Company
PO Box 491
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Contact: Peter Sagansky
tel: (508) 347-9200
fax: (508) 347-9635

Ruby Wines Inc
Ted or Bob Rubin
http://www.rubywines.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
625 Bodwell Street Ext
Avon, MA 02322
(508) 588-7007

Ruby is a mid-major that lost a bunch of brands when Southern came in. Good exposure and decent sized sales team. CRWC is a small boutique operation with a small but knowledgeable (last time I checked) sales team. Peter was the main guy in MA for Bobby Kacher for a long time, he may still have the wines. I hear that the market is really in flux up there right now with a lot of consolidation going on, you may find some other smaller guys to work with as well. Did you contact Josh Wertlieb? That’s another person to reach out to for a report on MA, and he may even be able to rep you if he’s got his importer’s license already.