Our wines have finally hit New York! Our US East Coast importer is Vindagra USA and they’re an incredibly enthusiastic team and when the wines finally arrived after a very long sea trip from New Zealand, we had an email from Darren at Vindagra saying “I AM SO EXCITED”. In fact we’ve had multiple emails from Darren every day since our wines arrived which have included photos of all the sommeliers and wine retailers that have tasted our wines so far. I’d hate to think of how much mileage Darren has done in the past two weeks as he’s been showing our wines all over New York and Virginia!
Misha’s Vineyard wines have already been tasted by John Story from Whole Foods Market, Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington Virginia, D’Vines in Washington DC, Jay Grossman from Four Food Studios in Melville NY, Stew Leonards wine shops, Prime, and also Barrels & Stills in Huntington NY, as well as lots of other amazing places in Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons.
The famous Sparks Steak House was the first restaurant to place an order in New York City for our Pinot Noir and Riesling. It’s reputedly the “greatest steak house on Manhattan” (New York Post) and known for having an amazing wine list having been awarded the Wine Spectator “Grand Award” for 23 years in a row! It’s also famous because it was where Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano and underboss Thomas Bilotti were gunned down near the entrance in 1985 – the hit was under the orders from John Gotti!
Across the other side of the US, we already work with Fox Restaurant Concepts based out of Scottsdale Arizona. We worked with the very talented Regan Jasper, Director of Hospitality and Beverage, on an exclusive blend of our Misha’s Vineyard Pinot Noir which goes to the various restaurant brands in the group including True Food Kitchen, North, The Arrogant Butcher, Wildflower, Olive & Ivy and Modern Steak to name but a few.
It’s been two years since we visited the US on a trip specifically to try and understand how the market worked and what our best approach should be. We learned a lot about the market – how complicated the distribution tiers are and just how big a market it is! We formulated a plan but, as with distribution in any market, the most important factor really comes down to personal relationships and we’re really lucky to have such great partners representing our brand in the US.