Welcome to our world of wines. I'm often asked what the word Mondiale means and how to pronounce it. Mondiale translates from French or Italian as global or world. Pronouncing it probably varies, but I say "mon" like Monica, "di" like delight and "ale" like all. Mon-dee-all. It doesn't really matter how you say it, just as long as you can find this website and explore our world of wines.
Right now, our world of wines is focused on three family-owned boutique wine producers in New Zealand. I've spent most of my career focused on the wines of France and Italy. I've studied for the two most prestigious and challenging wine qualifications in the world and I earned an MBA in Wine through studies in France, Chile, Australia and the US. I have travelled the world in pursuit of those studies, but I had not been to New Zealand.
I’ll admit that I find most of the wines from New Zealand that we see here in the US tend to be large volume producers of Sauvignon Blanc. I had sold several of them during my wine career and have been known to consume plenty of those wines myself. I've also worked with and enjoyed drinking some of the top producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in New Zealand, so I knew there were some distinguished boutique producers to be found there. I knew from my research and wine studies that New Zealand was home to some innovative wine making and growing practices and maybe they might be open to a different approach to the US market.
So I called up a friend of mine, Martin Cahnbley, who owns Planet Wine in New Zealand and asked him if he knew of any great producers who might be interested in the US market. Martin imports unique producers of beer, wine and spirits from around the world into the New Zealand market and knows a lot of producers in New Zealand personally. Martin, like me, enjoys introducing his friends to each other. I met Martin in the Institute of Masters of Wine study program in Bordeaux and we immediately became friends. I had always been interested in his business model and knew I would like to do something similar in the US market.
With Martins help and guidance, in January of 2018 I visited nineteen wineries in thirteen days and fell in love with New Zealand – the wines, the food, the people, the landscape, the culture. New Zealand had it all. In coming blog entries I'll explain more about those visits, the wines and people I met along the way.