A highlight from Ep. 549 Dan Kratzer | Get US Market Ready with Italian Wine People


This series will be dedicated to the personalities who have been working in the italian wine sector in the us. Their experiences challenges and personal stories. I'll cover the roads that they walked shedding light on current trends business strategies and their unique branson. So thanks for listening in. And let's get to the interview. Hello and welcome to this week's issue of get. Us market ready with talion wind people. I'm steve right. And this week we're pleased to have onboard. Dan kratzer who is especially important at of the colorado market. One of the things. We're trying to do in this. Podcast is to focus on a little light on markets. That don't get much attention when people think about the. Us market oftentimes new york san francisco la miami chicago. Houston dallas get the most attention but there's huge opportunities for all. It's not just italian. Certainly italian wants to in these smaller markets and recognize it. we call him the smaller markets. That doesn't mean they are small market so so much for the intro. Happy to have. Dan bats here. Dan why don't you give us a little brief bio of your experience in the industry. Steve thanks for having me a pleasure to be on from the snowing rocky mountains. We thrive in this market considered to be secondary. But i think everybody's realizing how important it is to especially italian wine. And what a pleasure to share the enthusiasm for italian wine with you today to as well. I've been in the industry for about twenty five years from restaurants distributors importers and now. Fortunately i can do my own portfolio. I've got about twenty to twenty five producers that i'm working with all italian and Really thriving this market with them not just in colorado but we're in key markets in the region and expanding as long as the market is opening up more and more. We're really excited about the future of the restaurant industry which some point we were really concerned about. So we're recording that sinn early to mid march and anticipated by the time this is broadcast. The world's gonna be opened up a lot. More tells a bit about the portfolio the kind of producer specializing by the cavity wines and spirits or just mines in from what countries in what types of producers wellbeing being in the industry for quite some time i forced quite a few relationships in starting out on my own. It was quite easy to reach out for some old friends and Find their passions especially to need to cap alina in kesselman awarding chianti classical producer. A friend of mine. Alex is the general manager and winemaker. That i've known in hat drink merola with the thirty years ago and So he's doing his passion project so when when we connected. That was the first one that brought to the us as a small importer. It's kind of frightening to take on chianti classic because there's so many fantastic historic brands in the market and When working with passionate people as sure as a lot easier to go into the market and share the quality and the drive. If you will were specifically sandra maisy and from there took the portfolio and really focused on sanjay z. Or you know. Meaning other other producers. Through alex or some other friends that i know i've put together portfolio reaches all key regions. I always have had the motto of drink ability in so i found a portfolio that i feel just about every wine. We have has a great drink ability. And i think that's really the trend in the marketplace interesting choice of word. I used to do a little bit in the beer industry. And that's a common word. And i guess it means enjoyable to drink without having to think too hard about it. So so how. Many producers have in the portfolio right now twenty two producers at this point obviously talking to some some new people that are emerging. But i'm not restricting the portfolio to just italy. It's always been my my. I love my first passion working with wine around the globe. I think it's important to seek out opportunity and realize just the talent that's coming. A lot of the generations are for being passed in the sons and daughters are taking the reins and when you visit the wineries. It's really interesting. Because you tour the properties in tour the wineries with the young guys always over the back of your shoulder you can see. You know the dad. And grandad checking out if The next generation is showing everything properly inches thick. So cut to the chase about when i think a lot of people are listening to this podcast. I'm sure you get calls from suppliers and a lot of them are what i would call uninformed cold calls. How do you deal with those. And how do you figure out who you're interested in. Do you consider the co- call that come in. Would you only consider like when you go to in italy or get referrals. So how'd you make decisions at bringing the coal causer now typically just emails. But i think it's important to at least have a look at everything i think there's there's such a cutting edge historic industry. That's happening right now. People are trying new things but at the same time. There's an important renaissance if you will of what's happening in the industry as far as that terminology we're using as far for drinking ability and i personally don't wanna feel like a pass up on an opportunity or find a new discovery or even a revival of something that's been historic so i always take a good look at it. Obviously you want something to fit the portfolio sort of enhance and keep the portfolio alive. But at the same time you know. Something's just don't fit or things. Don't dumb make sense for me personally. I think there's a lot of a lot of us. you know. A lot of people say there's an army of importers out there and i think it's true you know if it doesn't fit for me i think if it's a lot of people yellow so the fundamental challenge angling with a couple of clients. Now they're dealing with this is they're looking for an importer handling you. Ask them. Tell me about your brand usually starts out and make really great but are not the initial issue because the law level of quality expected of these is pretty high. What differentiates in my mind. People who are coming and talking to me do they have an understanding of us market. Do they understand the person they're talking to and what their needs may be. And so i always tell people look gonna website. Police look away. Their portfolio only italian brands and your from australia coco. And if you do a little homework and you come to that importer and say okay. I see you. you've got everybody included. But you don't have any wants okay. Now you have a subject that you can talk to the important with your speculating about all of the market. But it's also talking about there. It's the importers needs as opposed to producer's needs to just find an cucumber time. Yeah i would agree with that for sure but at the same time if if for example i have quite a few sandra daisy specialist in my portfolio. And i've got some of the top winemakers carlo farini which with this his personal project. Joe you know he's a sandra maisy luminary if you well and if he came to me and said well you know i'm i'm also making sanjay's it'd be very difficult for me to take a look at but on the other side i've got you know someone on talking to now that's in that that's quite interesting to me. Because grenache is very drinkable. From france someone trying to elevate the grape in the region. Because it's been there for quite some time unknown to me. I thought it was something new. That was transplanted. But it has been there for quite some time and that that's interesting as an addition to the portfolio it It's you make a very good point you know. Take a look at what people are doing. What their philosophy is as far as going to market and You know have the conversation instead of the cold call or pushy. Sort of our winds are great type of conversation. Talk about your own philosophy from the vineyard that speaks to me. It's all about stories right. I mean everybody's talking about that social media and everything else and the beauty of anyone but certainly italian wines. Nobody else has the same story if your former producing

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