Monday, February 6, 2012

Genesis of the Fredrick Wildman and Sons Greek wine portfolio

Having arrived at the conclusion that @elloinos is one of the most passionate and informed of the Greek-wine-focused bloggers -- as well as being similarly interested in, and concerned about, the impacts of the current financial crisis on the broader Greece, and, more narrowly, its wine industry -- it was a no-brainer for me to respond affirmatively when he announced that he was going to be in the US in the January-February timeframe and would be interested in meeting some of his twitter friends at that time.  After some DMing and emailing, I came to understand that @elloinos had put together a portfolio of Greek wines for Fredrick Wildman and was coming to the US for the public introduction of same.  I was subsequently invited by @elloinos to attend the New York event.

@elloinos is the Twitter handle of Markus Stolz, a German native currently residing in Athens and working on connecting Greek wine producers with importers from other markets.  A key tool in his arsenal is "... a hub for producers, merchants, and consumers ..." which provides insight into Greek wines and Greek wine production.

@elloinos expounding on his favorite topic at the Landmarc

In a January 2012 post on his blog, Markus expressed his excitement at being chosen by Wildman to assist them in their Greek-wine-importing initiative (This project hits the sweet spot of the elloinos mission which is to get Greek wines into the hands of international consumers through linkups with importers.).

Fredrick Wildman and Sons had its beginning shortly after the end of Prohibition when the namesake owner bought a wine and fine food importer called Bellows and Company. Shortly after the purchase, Mr. Wildman travelled to Europe and signed up a number of leading wine estates to have their products distributed in the US through his company. The name Fredrick Wildman and Sons came into being in 1952 when Mr. Wildman formed a company of that name to fill the void created when National Distillers left the fine wine business.  Wildman became a subsidiary of Hiram Walker in 1989 but was sold in 1993 to an investment group comprised of the Wildman CEO (Richard Cacciato) and six of its leading suppliers.

In my conversation with him, Markus indicated that he had been approached by Wildman to assist them in assembling a new Greek wine portfolio.  He put together samples and shipped them off to New York and within two weeks of the samples' arrival in NY, Wildman staffers were in Greece to meet the winemakers, taste the wines in-country, and explore the opportunities for business relationships.  The tasting at the Landmarc signaled the end of the selection/portfolio-building stage and the launch of the marketing/selling phase of the initiative.

I will explore the portfolio in a subsequent post.


  1. Wilmans first experience with Greek wines was thru the Diamond Importers portfolio who subsequently moved there brands to M. Skurnik wines.

    1. Thank you very much for this insight