Planes, Trains, Automobile, and Rollercoasters

We kick-off this section of our website with this first article about starting this new venture.  We are super thrilled about jumping into this new venture, and we are having the time of our lives.  However, it must be mentioned, not all is rosy and at this early stage we have had to face a number of challenges before we even begin formal operation of wine distribution.  We named this entry making reference to the eponymous movie from the 80’s starting Steve Martin and John Candy, where the main character has to go through a wild road trip to be able to get home in time for Thanksgiving.  Our story has a fair share of wild road trips and we want to share it with you.  All in the spirit of sharing some fun, but educational information we can all relate to.  You will understand why we decided to include the rollercoaster into the title, but don’t despair, there is a silver lining to each curve ball that destiny has thrown at us.  We hope you will enjoy this section.  

Our trip formally began last July 2019 with the incorporation of Crescent Imports, Inc.  Since then we have been really busy building the whole infrastructure required for importing wines into the US.  No need to go into all the regulatory requirements, but suffice it to say it is a lot.  Let’s jump into the fun part of building the portfolio.  We must say that we were incredibly fortunate to have run into wonderful people in the wine industry that were supportive beyond expectations in helping us find wineries in Chile and Spain that were not exporting to our region and were interested in sharing their wines and stories with us.  With this invaluable support we were able to schedule a good roster of meetings in Chile and we planned our first discovery trip in October.  Daniel, the Chilean pillar of this business, flew a few days before me to Chile.   My trip involved a connection in Mexico City and little did I know what kind of surprise was in store for us as I boarded my flight to Mexico City.  The moment I Ianded in Mexico City the first message I found in my phone was one informing me of a curfew imposed in Chile after a few days of protests and vandalism mainly in Santiago.  There was no way we could have ever planned for a scenario like this.  It felt like insult was being added to injury just a few days after the US decided to impose a 25% tariff on European wines.  With a week filled with uncertainty, we continued with our plans to meet with wineries in Chile and it turned out to be a hell of an experience.  No need to go into too much details, but we can tell you that two times during this week we were kindly asked at gunpoint to pull over since we had to drive during the imposed curfew.  Losing one of human’s most basic rights, free transit, makes you remember how fortunate most of us have been growing up in a free world.  However, we definitely feel super fortunate we got to see this piece of history in the making in Chile with people fighting for what they consider most valuable for them which is in essence dignity and equality.  From this trip we got to try about 200 different wines from about 24 wineries.  This would not have been possible without the support of MOVI Chile (a group of independent small producers) as well as Pro Chile and some professionals in the wine world in Chile.  Thank you all for your support!  We can’t thank you all enough.  All wines were really good, but we were most impressed by the quality of the people we met with.  In the middle of a very stressful environment and uncertainty, everyone made the extra effort to meet with us and many went the extra mile to open up the doors of their homes to have a meeting that would not have been possible otherwise.  Thank you all in Chile for your effort and passion to share your wines with us!  We’ll never forget this.  We don’t want to spoil the surprise of what is coming out of Chile under our portfolio, but we can share that it is not what you expect out of Chile.  We’ll have a white coming out of the south (this will surprise you!), sparkling wines, as well as some classics as well such as Sauvignon Blanc from Leyda and Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo.  You’ll be surprised by a wine from a grape you may have barely heard of, Pais, but that we are sure will be a hit in the short term.  Think quality Beaujolais.  

At the time we publish this entry, we have already started conversations with a few wineries in Chile.  Stay tuned for publications about each individual winery.  All of them are super special as we briefly mentioned.  

Colchagua. FANOA Winery. Cabernet running towards us.
Colchagua Valley
Colchagua Valley. Winery of Javiera Ortuzar