Interviews

A Vinicultural Odyssey: Consortium Imports Revealing Global Wine Treasures

Photo for: A Vinicultural Odyssey: Consortium Imports Revealing Global Wine Treasures

02/04/2024 Navigating Quality, Sustainability, and the Art of Wine Storytelling

In the heart of Florida, Consortium Imports stands tall as a beacon of excellence in the wine distribution industry. With a mission rooted in sourcing the finest wines from across the globe, their commitment to quality, sustainability, and fostering lasting relationships with both growers and consumers sets them apart. Let's delve into the core of Consortium Imports' ethos, exploring its marketing strategies, growth initiatives, production methods, and unwavering dedication to sustainability.

Consortium Imports prides itself on sourcing the best quality wines from around the world. Can you elaborate on your marketing strategies for promoting these unique selections to consumers?

In our company, we use the phrase “Bringing Hospitality Back into Sales”.  This is a unique approach to understanding your customers' needs and the right fit for wine, spirits, or beer.  Our approach is to take the time to tell the story and create events that cater to a personal touch from the producers whose wines or spirits they represent. 

As a growing company, what are your primary growth strategies for expanding your reach in the market while maintaining the integrity of your brand?

Challenging, we always want to grow fast, but outkicking the coverage is a real thing.   We have not executed against this perfectly, but now heading into our 4th year, we have a much better grasp on how, when, and the best way to introduce a brand to our sales team and the market.  Less is more, hyper-focused, and do not try to cannibalize your current brands.

Image: Consortium team! South Florida sales and operations team.

Could you shed some light on the production methods employed by Consortium Imports to ensure the highest standards of quality and preservation from vineyard to warehouse?

During the summer months, we refrigerate all wines from overseas and also keep our warehouse at 65 degrees year-round.   Nice temperature to preserve the wines. 

Sustainability is exceedingly important in the wine industry today. How does Consortium Imports integrate sustainable practices into its operations and product sourcing?

Sustainability along with family producers is a key pillar of our company.  We make sure most products sourced are confirmed by the sustainable viticultural practices in each country and make sure this is highlighted in all communication.  Regarding operations, we white paint the building, and sensors throughout the warehouse to reduce energy costs.   We have looked into other types of energy savings and more automation, but we are not just there yet.

Consortium Imports boasts an impressive portfolio of family wineries spanning ten countries and fifty growing regions. How do you select these wineries, and what criteria do you prioritize in your partnerships?

Family, sustainability, quality, and value to our customers.  We always begin with the juice in the bottle and then the people who make the wines and spirits.  We have a small committee that reviews all aspects of the product as a CPG item, but then we see how it will best fit into our portfolio and the market.

Image Source: Consortium Imports

The Sommelier Choice Awards competition is highly esteemed in the industry. How has participating in this competition contributed to Consortium Imports' reputation and success?

It is great to see the feedback and network of people who recognize us or come to us searching for a wine that is awarded at the Sommelier Choice Awards.  So I believe it is a win-win.

Image: Winners of Sommeliers Choice Awards

Could you share insights into how Consortium Imports' experienced sales consultants convey the unique stories and cultures behind each wine to consumers?

We believe in storytelling.  Stories sell wines when the juice in the bottle is good to great.   We have bi-weekly and monthly calls with producers to review their wines, and also we have a lot of in-market activity with our producers, which is the best way to convey the story.   We also encourage travel to our properties through educational travel and we also support extended education.  We support WSET or the Court of Masters.

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Conclusion:

Consortium Imports is a curator of exceptional experiences encapsulated in every bottle. Through meticulous sourcing, sustainable practices, and a passion for storytelling, they have carved a niche in the wine industry that transcends mere transactions. As it continues to expand its footprint, Consortium Imports remains committed to upholding the highest standards of quality, integrity, and innovation. Cheers to a journey marked by excellence shared stories, and unforgettable flavors.

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

The 2024 Sommeliers Choice Awards results are out! View the results here.