What are US importers looking for?

Heading to ProWein to meet with a US importer? Or are you trying to establish a relationship another way? Roger Morris investigates the best approach.

Scott Diaz, Wilson Daniels; Diego Avanzato, Taub Family Selections
Scott Diaz, Wilson Daniels; Diego Avanzato, Taub Family Selections

Bibi Graetz has tousled hair and a smile as wide as the nearby river Arno. Since his first vintage in 2000, people have loved his Tuscan wines, and such descriptors as “cult,” “talented” and “untrained genius” follow him around. He also speaks good English. Surely foreign suitors must flock to the cellar door of his mediaeval Castello di Vincigliata?  Except they don’t.  

“It’s really difficult finding a good partner in the US,” says Graetz, “unless you’re a Tuscan winery with a long and successful history. I had been trying to create a relationship with the right people in the US since 2000 but it’s really hard.” Each time he thought something might work, he came away disappointed. What do American wine importers want, anyway? 

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