As we approach the 10 year anniversary of Direct Wine Cellars, we were in a reflective mood so I decided it was time to explain why we do what we do and how it all began.
Towards the end of 2007 and into 2008, I was finishing quite a long stint as a young woman in the USA. Even though I wasn’t legally allowed to drink in the USA, I did fall in love with the taste of Moscato d’Asti and when I returned home, I noticed it really wasn’t around. I remember saying to my mum, “we should import Moscato to Australia”. As always, when you set an intention, the universe provides.
A few weeks later, we were approached by someone who felt there was an Italian wine brand, Sensi, that deserved better representation. Did he have Moscato? Yep. Upon conversation, we heard about the Prosecco and Pinot Grigio trend sweeping the world. We thought, “why not?” and we imported our first container.
Almost 10 years later, we are now onto a container of wine a week from Sensi. We hold the name for the biggest Prosecco brand in Australia right now and the Sensi brand has a remarkable following.
We mainly sell to Restaurants and Bottleshops but the online store has always been a great way for people without access to interesting bottleshops, to grab their case of Sensi wine.
The business has also expanded to French wine and Champagne simply because I personally love Champagne and my husband was annoyed by my expensive habit. We have also ventured into new world wines from Argentina, South Africa and Chile.
The most important part is we only import one brand from one country and make sure it dominates it’s niche. I was sick of trying so many Italian, French or other wines that weren’t excellent examples of their varietal. We search for wine brands that consistently deliver quality and are amazing value for money. I always admit they might not be the most amazing wines you will ever try (apart from Abelé Vintage champagne … its the best hands down), but they are easy to drink, consistent quality and really give you a sense of the terroir and what the country is trying to achieve with the varietal.
Is it a competitive industry? Absolutely. However, I stand by our products and guarantee my clients will love them and find them amazing value…and they are the perfect wines to keep ‘spare’ for when people come by unexpectedly.
Our selection criteria comes down to 3 things.
Does the label stand out?
Does the juice over deliver for the money?
Is it consistent year to year?
With all those ticked, we decide to import. It’s a lot of fun and before you ask, yes, the travel gets tiring. However, someone has to do it ;)