Ridge Vineyards is represented in over 50 countries around the world. This is no small achievement. It has taken us decades of hard work and dedication to achieve this kind of worldwide distribution and to maintain it. We have some incredible importers that have been with us for decades like Fields, Morris & Verdin in the UK, Martel in Switzerland, and Alpina in Germany.
Clearly, one of the most important factors in the wine industry (and arguably any industry) is PEOPLE and our relationships with them. How are these international relationships made and maintained? Correspondence… used to be letters and phone calls. Nowadays it’s more about emails, social media, and the one thing that never goes out of style… meeting people in person!
A place where we can see many of our distributors (and pour our new releases) is at likely the best trade-only wine show in the world, ProWein, which is held every March in Düsseldorf, Germany. ProWein attracts over 55,000 trade visitors. There are over 6,000 exhibitors from 57 nations. That’s a lot of booths! ProWein is like a mini city spread over nine exhibit halls.
This past March we were able to see nearly two dozen of our importers from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. We were also approached by nearly half a dozen new countries that were interested in importing Ridge including Kazakhstan, Portugal, Italy, and Peru. We also get to see some of our biggest fans… some of these people have been buying our wine for decades. These folks come with pictures and stories about their experiences with our wine, our employees, and their visits to our wineries. I’m always in awe and humbled by what I learn from them.
I have been fortunate to have been asked (tasked?) to attend ProWein for the past three years. Trust me, it’s no cakewalk! Having to pour wine non-stop for six hours a day for three consecutive days is glamorous for about the first hour. There is always a crowd of people standing at our booth and sometimes I can’t pour the wine fast enough or reach far enough into the crowd. Sorry guys!
But, you know what – I love seeing our partners from around the globe that I correspond with all year long and meeting the die-hard Ridge fans. They are always so fun and generous. I am so lucky to work for such a great winery…. we make great wine and we’ve also made some great friends along the way.