Sunday Read: Are Wines Bought or Sold?

I am currently in California, visiting family, so I am making this a shorter entry…

I came across the post a while ago, and I really enjoyed reading it. The wine industry in the US has been puzzling in its complexity of winemakers, middle men and retailers and consumers. Lyle Fass, an importer of small wineries in Germany and France who sells directly to his customers who are usually consumers, writes an entertaining and interesting blog over at Rockss and Fruit. In this piece, he explores what it means being an importer selling to consumers directly.

I thought it was interesting and threw a light on what importers and wineries think about when they do their business.

Have a great Sunday!

Rockss and Fruit: Are Wines Bought or Sold?

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11 thoughts on “Sunday Read: Are Wines Bought or Sold?

  1. talkavino says:

    Interesting. So I guess the real point of the article is to tell us that importers selling direct is the best thing? Probably, but who is intended recipient of this message? And some of the points there are correct (winemaking is a business – yep, we, oenophiles, tend to forget that), but it is not entirely true that importers don’t interact with consumers. For instance, at my friend Zak’s store, importers come in with their wines, do the tasting, talk to the people and are definitely engaged. Yes, may be small importers are doing more of that than let’s say, Diageo – but we should also keep in mind that importing landscape is changing and there are more and more of the small players there.
    Lastly, what the heck is Dujac which we are supposed to be so familiar with?

    • Oh, that is so true, I didn’t even think of the tastings that importers do…great point!

      As regards the recipient of the message, I think it is meant for consumers and thereby potential customers of the blog’s author…and to explain a bit more the thoughts that went into his business. I just found this glimpse behind the facade interesting, probably because I had not spent much time thinking about these things.

      Ha, and as regards Dujac, I was also unfamiliar with the winery. They seem to have some pretty decent holdings in Burgundy according to Wikipedia: The domaine’s holdings are, in decreasing order of area, in the AOCs of Morey-Saint-Denis, Clos de la Roche, Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Aux Malconsorts, Clos Saint Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru Les Combottes, Morey-Saint-Denis 1er cru, Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Les Beaux Monts, Charmes-Chambertin, Echézeaux, Morey Saint Denis Blanc, Chambolle Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis 1er cru Les Monts Luisants, Bonnes Mares, Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Gruenchers, Chambertin, Bourgogne Blanc, and Romanée-Saint-Vivant.

      • talkavino says:

        Thanks, now I will know what Dujac is (not sure I will keep remembering that though : ) ).

        Was an interesting read in any case. Cheers!

  2. I really liked reading this one, thank you! :)

    Living in the middle of many smaller wineries and seeing how hard they work to get their wines sold in the end of the day/year, we can def. observe how the market is changing over here, too. Supporting some wineries by connecting them to resellers and/or restaurants has shown pretty much the same as mentioned in the article, even if with certain differences since we are in Germany here…


    • Thank you for weighing in, Heike! I know what you mean. Just looking at my home village, there are around 20 wineries there and it is hard to stand out in this ever-expanding world of wine, especially with the international wines.

  3. springding says:

    I like the article. I think, however, instead of being very enlightening, the author makes the mistake of repeating himself too often. I also think he has missed the point of being a Sommelier. It’s true that Sommeleir’s want to give good recommendations (they are the ambassadors for the place they are working) but really they should be looking to broaden people’s minds, and this does not just apply to ‘a small cadre’ of those ‘world class’ Sommeliers. Also, Sommeliers are really looking to sell by the bottle, not the glass, and their success in this means that unheard of labels do shift. The author should have a lot more hope! Either way, interesting to learn the psychology behind a wine importer.

  4. Blowing my mind–as in life, so in wine. It’s so incredibly complicated. I need a nap.

    As always, your posts are very enlightening. :)

  5. Wow, that was a real dissertation, but he made some great point! Thanks for sharing!

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