Grapevine is always on the search for the next great wineries around the world. The company is looking for families who are making wine better and / or marketing them differently than others are currently.
There is not an exact science when Grapevine Distributors considers picking up new wineries to sell in the Carolinas. Each family that we contact or contacts Grapevine to sell their wines is given individual consideration. However, there are some basic ground rules.
The winery must be family owned or a cooperative of small family growers working together to make their wines.
There should be an interesting story behind the family and their winery. When and why did the family get into the winemaking business? Is there a family legend or lore that compliments the family business? Grapevine sales people can tell you a story about each of the wineries we represent. If they can't tell you a story about the family or winery then it will not be added to the catalogue.
The wine must add something to the portfolio. The wine may taste as good as our other wines and be priced as well as our other wines but if it doesn't add another dimension to our portfolio then there is no reason to represent it in the Carolinas.
A few wines, when tasted by the management team, are a "slam dunk" but most make those charged with leading the sales think a bit. "Slam Dunks," a rarity in the world of wine, are those wines too good to pass up so may be chosen to be added to the portfolio on the spot and the management team know the sales force will be happy they did. Most wines don't even make it past the management team. Some wines do make the management team think a bit so are presented to the sales staff at one of the monthly sales meetings. At that point it is up to the sales people to decide if the wine is Grapevine worthy. Most wines do not make the cut. The ones that do get the full support of the sales people as they are the ones who chose to add the wine to our portfolio.
The Grapevine management team and it sales force is so selective in which family wineries it chooses to represent that in an average year they choose about five new wineries out of many many submissions.
Grapevine strongly prefers to represent wineries across both North and South Carolina. It's the rare "slam dunk" than convinces the company to break that rule and pick up a winery for only one of the two states. If a winery is picked up for either or both of the Carolinas Grapevine requires that it represents that winery state-wide.