To talk about our decision to start to work with domestic partners, we thought it would be interesting to first describe a little bit about our evolution as a company.  When the three of us first started thinking about importing wines, we initially thought about calling our import company “Alpine Wines” because we all loved artisan French and Italian wines from and around the Alps region.  And while this still holds very true, we soon realized it was a little too restrictive a concept, especially since the very first wine producer we found and loved and began to work with was far from alpine– Battista Belvisi of Abbazia San Giorgio– at the southernmost edge of Italy, the island of Pantelleria.  Since one of us, Roland, grew up in the Savoie region, soon we did begin to gather some “alpine” wines from the french side and with the addition of Grawu introduced to us by Battista our alpine list did indeed begin to grow steadily.  But we also found other wine makers we wanted to work with such as Forti Del Vento close to Piedmont and they  are outside of this alpine radius.

Old vine grapes used for Deux Punx wine

Harvest Deux Punx

As a result our thinking of how we were going to coalesce the philosophy of our company began to center more on the practices of the winemaker rather than the region where the wines are grown.  

Vines used for Montebruno wine.

This allowed us to cast a wider net, and we continue to grow keeping this philosophy in mind.

Of course, with all of the considerable tumult within the past year, whether tariffs or pandemics or social unrest, we were jarred out of our more static existence. It led us to ask more questions and explore even further what Living Wine means to us.  It has underscored all of our conviction that to work with winemakers who care about the land and how the wine is made is paramount.  This shake up also made us re-evaluate the regional restrictions we had placed on our wine purchases.  Originally we were thinking alpine only, then France & Italy but we started to explore if we could be in keeping with our core philosophy of Living Wine and also begin to look to domestic wine growers as well.

Vines used for Montebruno wine.

We decided YES we could.  To this end there were already two winemakers we had grown to be friends with over the years and whose wines we enjoyed and whose philosophies worked in tandem with ours. One winemaker in California, Deux Punx, and one out of Oregon, Montebruno, are both focused on small production, using organic grapes and minimal intervention.  We thought this would be an optimal start to our new domestic portfolio of Living Wine.  We think you will agree and so we now raise a glass to our new friends in Living Wine.

Toby, for Living Wine