2020 Year End Letter from CEO Dan Glisky

Navigating through the impact of wine tariffs on prices and margins, the negative effects of the strengthening Euro on the same, and the targeted closures of restaurants and our beloved hospitality industry due to Covid certainly made for a year we are not soon to forget. It was a privilege to navigate the company through this challenging time and to know with full confidence that we are prepared for whatever comes at us next –obstacles and opportunities alike.

During times like these we have been reminded how many wonderful relationships we are blessed to have throughout the world.  The patience, kindness, communications, warm wishes, and mutual support were all greatly appreciated, and we are stronger for the year we had.

During this year we were able to reflect on our business: what we were doing well and what we could do to improve it.  A crisis is great for such self-reflection.  One easily identifiable opportunity for our company is to become a greater force in bringing strong,  retail-oriented import brands to the market.  A large portion of our import sales traditionally have been sold to the on-premise trade, where educated wine experts deftly guide consumers to our brands.  We learned a critical lesson that an important part of our job is to maintain a balanced portfolio, as well as strategies that serve the needs of the entire wine community, both on and off premise.

To that end, we have had to make some difficult decisions to let go of some brands that were not working within our portfolio, in order to make room for other opportunities in the future.  This is much more difficult than it sounds, as so much has already been invested in bringing these brands to the US market.  But making those difficult choices opens up new areas of opportunities that we are often unable to see until we reset ourselves.

This year the company attended Wine Paris – the only major wine trade of 2020 – and we were grateful to see so many of our partners there.  We had six distributors add 19 new skus, and we successfully re-opened distribution in Colorado with a fantastic new partner.  We began importing wine in keg format, which we believe will be a big success with many clients. We held a second successful Champagne pre-sell campaign, strengthened our relationships with many of our suppliers, and submitted more of our supplier brands to Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, and other rating agencies than ever before.  We also brought in our first South American container.

Through RangeMe and ECRM, we invested in building relationships with large retailers throughout the country which will help drive revenue for not only our suppliers but for our distribution partners.  We conducted some incredible sales campaigns, including our Stacks on Stacks Blitz and our 2nd annual Champagne pre-sell campaign, which included rare vintages and large formats.  And of course, we really enjoyed growing our relationships and helping our clients grow their businesses virtually by hosting weekly Happy Hours, Master Classes, Consumer Wine Dinners, and educational events that built passion for our brands and a sense of community for us all.

In 2021 we will be opening up 3 new states for distribution and will be keeping a focus on our successful Stacks on Stacks program.  We will continue to focus on balancing our business with a healthy mix of restaurant and retail success, and we will work to be a great partner for all of our suppliers.  We consider it a privilege to represent our portfolio in the US market. 

Thank you to all of our suppliers, partners, and stakeholders that allow Kindred Vines Import Company to Connect the World through Wine.  Please reach out at any time if I can help in any way.  I hope to see you all in 2021!F


Dan Glisky

CEO & Managing Partner
Kindred Vines Import Company

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