Charles River Wine Company Celebrates 10 Years of Fine Wine Selling in Massachusetts
Charles River Wine Company, Inc. brought a forty foot container full of largely pre-sold French wines to Massachusetts on September 10, 2004 and delivered its first orders four days later. The company that Peter Sagansky designed that year started out strong, grew sales steadily, survived the rocky economic downturn that began in 2008 and is back on a solid growth path in 2014. It’s been an interesting first decade and a very good ride!
While some suppliers and wine selections come and go over time our company’s style and focus has remained largely the same. When the market became difficult and the price points fell we consolidated our portfolio rather than shifting our focus to more commercial wines. We worked closely with our Winery and Importer partners and adjusted to the changing market conditions. We continued to hire talented and wine knowledgeable salespeople believing that it takes those who are truly inspired by fine wine to sell fine wine.
Our early plans were to develop a well-balanced Portfolio of fine wines. It would be Global in reach with American wines well represented. That description still works for our Portfolio today. We intended to grow a manageable company that would compete successfully with our State’s very large competitors. We would focus solely on fine wines and use our group’s buying and selling skills to become an important resource to the best restaurant and store buyers of Massachusetts. It has been a quick 10 years and we are still going strong.
One of the best things about our industry is that it has always depended on strong working relationships. We have enjoyed the loyal support of our customers over these years and we have depended on our important working relationships with our suppliers. Some of our suppliers have been with us since our first year of business. Here is a list of our current suppliers grouped by the years that we began to work with them in the order in which they joined our portfolio.
Fall of 2004 through 2005: Grapes of Spain (Spain), Epicurean Wines (Australia), Vinum Cellars (CA), Polaner Selections (CA & WA- Ex-Libris, Hardin and Wyatt), Anders-Lane (CA- Mandolin, Waterstone and Z-52), Walter Hansel Winery (CA), Premium Brands (Italy), Gouguenheim (Argentina) and Importer John O’Neill (France)
2006: Robert Biale Vineyards (CA), Hendry (CA), Radio-Coteau (CA), Cristom Vineyards (OR), John Given Wines (Italy) and Sharpe Hill (CT)
2007: Beaux Frères (OR), O’Shaugnessy Winery (CA), Carneros Wine Company (CA- Mahoney Vineyards and Fleur), Dreyer Wine (CA- Compass, Dreyer Sonoma, Il Cuore and Solitude), Slocum & Sons (Europe)
2008: Organic Vintners (Argentina & Chile), Kopke Ports (Oporto), Global Vineyard (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay)
2010: Tre Monti (Italy), Varner Wines (CA- Nelly, Varner and Foxglove), Fattoria la Massa (Italy), Touchstone Wines (Italy), Capiaux Cellars (CA)
2011: Donkey & Goat (CA), Brooks Wines (OR), The Triton Collection (Italy & South Africa- Organic, Fair Tade & NSA) 2012: Weingut Othmar Biegler (Austria), Salzl Seewinkelhof (Austria), Traditional Wine Innovations (Italy), Wine Trees USA (International), Wine In Motion (Portugal), Bookwalter Winery (WA), Boutique Wine Collection (Europe, South Africa)
2013: Horse & Plow Winery (CA), Easton & Domaine de la Terre Rouge (CA), Vinos Libres Wine Merchants (Spain)
2014: Michelle D’Aprix’s Christopher Imports (Bordeaux), Aix Rosé (Provence), Boundary Breaks Vineyard (NY), Wilde Farm Wines (CA), Patricia Green Cellars (OR), Cultivar Wines, (CA) Bodkin Wines (CA), Michael Corso Selections (France), Hardwick Vineyards & Winery (MA), Calder Wine Co. (CA)
Our DECEMBER 2014 UPDATE: RATINGS & REVIEWS page is jam packed with up-to-date notes about our wines from key wine publications. There you will find two useful files that may be downloaded as pdfs. “Quotas vs. Priorities” and “Brands vs. Exclusives” are two parts of a series called “Advantage: The Small Wholesaler.” Here Peter Sagansky compares the focus of independent small wholesale wine distributors to the focus of the large commercial houses in today’s tough economic times. These pieces are in a sense our company’s mission statement. Our “MA Trade Only” page allows our Massachusetts customers to download all of our current Price Lists and our Price List version complete with Ratings from major publications.
The “MA Trade Only” page requires that you enter a “User Name” and “Password” to gain access. Please contact your salesperson or send us a message on our “Contact Our Company” page for details on how to log in.
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Thank you for your interest in Charles River Wine Company!
– Peter Sagansky and the Charles River Wine Company Team