OK once again it’s been a while since I posted. But man have we been busy. In the business, we refer to it as OND (October/November/December), and it’s the craziest time of the year. I’d say a good 35-45% of our sales come from these 3 months. That’s insane, but that’s the way it is.
It’s been a crazy year. There’ve been some bad things but luckily the good far outweighed it. On the bad side, the cowardly attacks in Paris in January and November come to mind right away, but no one we know was caught up in those events (though Sylvie Ruffin of Champagne Yves Ruffin did have 2 friends at the Bataclan nightclub where 90 people were murdered, they escaped unscathed under a hail of gunfire). We will no longer be working with Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz, but we wish Jerome the best in all his future endeavors. Also, one of our first producers and someone I consider a friend, Pascal Pibaleau, in Azay-le-Rideau, retired, selling his lands to his apprentice. I will be cracking some of his beautiful Crémants and pet’nats for New Year’s and toasting his health, careful not to drink too many lest they disappear too fast from existence.
On the good side, we picked up a TON of new producers in 2015 and increased the size of the book by a large margin. Their wines, like Didier Bouchacourt’s mineral-driven Macons and Pouilly Fuisses, Christophe Ferrari’s gorgeous Irancy, Azienda Fontechiara’s natural Nebbiolo, and Louis Poitout’s lightning-like Chablis are exploding in the marketplace. So it’s nice to know that quality is appreciated.
For 2016, we’ve already got a few new wineries lined up from France and Italy. And as a Burghound, I have wanted a Burgundy for the longest time. But I only want to do it if it’s done right: I refuse to pick up wineries for the sake of padding the book. Well, we are in talks with some Côte de Nuits folks making killer wines, so stay tuned and cross your fingers for us.
Most importantly, of course, I want to say THANK YOU. This is a brutally competitive industry. In NYC, there are over 300 wholesalers (!), most of them small 1-2 man operations bringing in wines very much like our own (though some of the “natural” stuff being sold is brought in more to support a philosophy than because of the quality…). However, as much as I love this business, without you, our customers, we would never succeed as well as we have. So it’s nice to know our work, and the work of our vignerons, is appreciated.
For 2016, I promise to hunt down even more wildly different and delicious wines that won’t break the bank. It isn’t easy (every winemaker thinks they’re under-pricing things…), and there’s a lot of swill still being made (and worse, selling like hot cakes). BUT wines from small farmers, real wines, are becoming more and more recognized. We will continue to bring in interesting wines, wines that grab your attention and won’t let go.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!