All Wine is Local…

March 31, 2012

All wine sales are local. If you’re a small brand, at least.

While I don’t have any hard data, I imagine that well over 95% of our wines are sold because that wine lover has been to our tasting rooms, or had the wine because it was recommended by a friend or a trusted wine reviewer/sommelier/wine shop owner.

There are just too many wines out there (tens of thousands of labels) for Lineage or La Rochelle to be  picked up randomly. So, if someone passionate about bordeaux-varietal blends has Lineage in Chicago, there is a web of very intimate, local connections that got that very rare wine to them. And the idea that there are little well-springs of enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Steven Kent Portfolio wines springing up around the country is really a very cool thing.

Just over a year ago I met a very enthusiastic guy named Eric Bava at the Pinot Days tasting in San Francisco. Eric liked the wines quite a lot and wanted to represent them in Chicago where he, and his business partner, Anthoy Vula, were in the process of starting their own distributorship. After months of bureaucratic rigamarole, our relationship with Vine-o Distributing Company was born.

Last November, I flew out to Chicago to pour at the Pinot Days tasting there, and to work the market with the Vine-o guys for a couple of days. I met some great restaurateurs who were very enthusiastic about the portfolio of wines. Eric and Anthony followed up with them, and now we have a growing group of Steven Kent Portfolio fans in the Windy City.

If you are visiting or have friends there, you can find the wines at:

MK – The Restaurant Tavern on Rush, and the Olympia Fields Country Club. Thanks to these great establishments for adding new connections to the web.