Mari: Discovering the Lama

Gary McCullough, Mari Brand Manager

Gary McCullough, Mari Brand Manager,

Kindred Vines Import Co.

A couple of years ago, my wife Tonja and I were visiting our former exchange student, Max Adam, in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany.  His beautiful hometown is nestled on the banks of the Mosel River, in southern Germany, where some of the best Riesling in the world is found. We had planned our vacation so that we were there in September to participate in their wine festivals. These festivals celebrate the upcoming harvest and take place in different towns throughout the Mosel River Valley.

On a day trip, Max and his father, Fritz took us to a friend’s vineyard. We met Jan Matthias, winemaker, co-creator of Mari and owner of Staffelter Hof Vineyard. It was here where we were first introduced to Mari and Joined the Lama!

I’ll never forget as Tonja and I took our first taste and simultaneously looked at each other and went WOW!  This is amazing!  We knew it would fit right into the American wheelhouse for taste. Our commitment to bring Mari to the States began right then.

Two years later we are proud that we have been able to watch the same “WOW!” look on consumers’ faces just as we experienced during our first taste. We have found a great United States import partner in Kindred Vines Import Co and together we have been growing our distribution partners nationally. Alliance Beverage in Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first, and we are grateful for their expertise and commitment to growing the brand in their markets. You can now find Mari, both Elderflower and Ginger, in prominent grocery and liquor stores as well as a growing number of restaurants and bars all across Michigan, with availability in other states coming soon!

We are excited about Mari’s growth and welcome everyone to Join the Lama!



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