The back door approach to the US

Connecting with importers is the fastest way to get a wine onto a US shelf. But, says Roger Morris, there is another way.

Collier´s wine shop, Centreville Delaware
Collier´s wine shop, Centreville Delaware

Thanks to consolidation among distributors, it’s increasingly difficult for producers to attract the attention of importers. There is, however, another way for producers to get representation in the US – schmooze with key sommeliers as well as the buyers for chain restaurants and retailers who often attend ProWein, Vinexpo and Vinitaly. If these buyers fall in love with a wine, they may be able to, at minimum, convince an importer to meet with the producer. When importers and distributors run into their major retail clients in exhibit halls, the question “Are you tasting anything interesting?” is often more than a casual one. 

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