• Our Producers

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  • Our Winemakers

    What many people don’t realize when they buy wine in their favorite store is that many of the vineyard owners and winemakers are first of all farmers. These people are the link to the ancient Greeks who spread grapes all around the Mediterranean basin, the link to the Romans who elevated the practices of cultivation of the vines, the link to the monks of the Middle Ages who honed the skill of cultivation and vinification to such a degree that those practices are basically what we use today. These people are connected to the land to make their living. They know what type of soil they have, they know when the sun comes up and sets, how long it lingers on the vines, they understand how wonderful and how destructive the weather can be. They are aware of which vines mature first and which ones they need to nurture to ripen before the grapes stop developing at the onset of autumn. The wineries in France and Europe are typically under or attached to the winegrower’s home. The home was, more often than not, their parents’ home and their grandparents’ home before that. They will watch the buds form and then transform into flowers and ultimately grapes. As the grapes mature, leaves will be removed to give certain bunches more light and more exposure to the local breezes, grape bunches will be pruned to concentrate the plant’s energy into the remaining grapes to allow them to fully ripen in difficult years. Finally, as all of the elements have had their effect on the grapes and vineyard, the vigneron will decide when to pick the grapes and turn them into wine. After watching over the pressing of the grapes, the juice is fermented into wine. Each step is watched carefully, each step gauged against what was done in prior years, or even how it was done by the father or grandfather who experienced a growing season just like this one. Then they nurture the wine while it ages. The term in French for aging wine implies a little more than aging: the term is ‘élèvage’ as in ‘élève’, the name for a pupil. The winemaker is considered a teacher who instructs/trains the wine into being the student he or she expects it to be. Ultimately, we will open the bottle to celebrate, to have with dinner, to share with friends, or not open until many years later to see how well that student was trained, and we will have a farmer to thank.

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French Portfolio

At William-Harrison Imports, we were a French-only import house for the first 12 years. Each year Harrison and the sales staff would go to taste and select wines throughout France, and import them directly to get the best value to the customer. As time went on, the best of those selections stayed in the portfolio, others were deleted, and ultimately the wines that we offer are those that have proven to be the best-selling, best in category wines that we have found over all these years. The French wines selected are fruit-driven, expressive of the terroir, and besides being great values, delightful to drink. The long-term relationship (some going on 20 years!) with our producers allows us to offer the best quality at the best price.

Argentine Portfolio

Argentina was the first viticultural area that Harrison explored after France for importing wines. The purity of the wines produced by an arid, high-elevation climate was compelling, especially with the Malbec grape proving to make a beautifully-balanced and rich wine with more expression of fruit and much softer tannins than in France. The Mendoza wineries we represent grow grapes in Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, Altimira, and Tupungato, some of the best soils in the foothills of the Andes. We were one of the first to bring in wines from Patagonia as well, which provide wines of a different character from Mendoza. With our French background, you will find our wines from Argentina to be more structured and balanced than many other New World wines.

Portuguese Portfolio

Quinta de la Rosa is a single-quinta Port house. Quinta is the Portuguese name for farm, and this is an owner-grower Port house that makes their fortified and un-fortified wines at the winery next to the vineyard where the grapes are grown, not in Oporto. The Bergqvist family has a port-making legacy from 1815 and has owned the quinta for over 100 years. The location of this centuries-old property in Pinhão is superb, situated in the heart of the Alto Douro. Rated as one of the top quintas of the Douro by virtue of its vineyards all being rated ‘A’ in the Casa Douro rating system (A-F), the quinta has a great diversity of ‘terroirs’ and microclimates, enabling the best blends to be made with vineyards of differing aspect and altitude. This is a spectacular Port and Douro portfolio.

Spanish Portfolio

Spain for decades had been producing wines the same old-fashioned way, and as the last century closed, many younger Spaniards in the wine business began to travel and see how wines were produced and marketed elsewhere, and the wines began to be fresher, more lively, more modern without losing that ‘Spanish’ character. The Spanish wines offered are the first that we have found to be of excellent character, price, and respective of the ‘terroir’. A small sampling so far, but these have proven to be well-received and appreciated in both retail and restaurants.

Italian Portfolio

After many years looking for Italian wines that we could offer, Harrison embarked late in 2011 on a concerted effort to find a group of Italian wines that would represent a cross-section of everyday wines and cellar-destined (some high-scoring) big wines that would please most Italian wine aficionados. These wines are very good values, not only because we import them directly like the other wines we represent, but because they represent the character, style, and ‘terroir’ of the appellations.

Domestic Portfolio

The range of our domestic wine portfolio is very unique, in that there is one product. We were offered the opportunity to distribute in certain markets a very limited amount of Russian River Pinot Noir that comes from 2 vineyards and represents 16 barrels of wine for the entire production. We jumped at it. The owner is the original owner of Moon Mountain Vineyard and was General Manager , then ultimately Vice President of Sonoma-Cutrer. We will receive somewhere between 1 and a half to 2 pallets of wine a year, and will sell all of it.


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When selecting our producers, we think almost as much about how they make their wine and treat their vineyards as we do about how their wine tastes. Virtually all of our domains and producers follow the ‘lutte raisonnée’ practices in France, and similar practices in other countries. Some of our producer’s vineyards are organic and certified, some are organic and not certified for the US, and one is certified organic and biodynamic. The ‘lutte raisonnée’ is the French term for ‘reasonable struggle’. This implies that the methods used are the best practices, treating the vines and grapes with as much care with regard to sustainability, yet using certain practices to maintain the ultimate health of the vineyard and grapes, only when needed, that don’t constitute organic practice. This means that the wine grower uses less chemical treatments than conventional agriculture and treatments that are less aggressive as well, with a focus on maintaining a healthy vineyard. When properly administered, the ‘lutte raisonnée’ is very close to organic gardening. It is a self-imposed stewardship for the vineyard, a choice that the vigneron makes to sustain his land and vineyard for the generations to come, and a way to guarantee the quality of his product.