Newsletter September 2022

August 30, 2022

Almalfi Coast’s famous and quaint fishing village, Cetara. (Download complete pdf here) We used to look forward to summer, but now we can’t wait until it’s over. Summer used to be much more fun, but these days it’s a game of hide and seek shade. Where we are in southwestern Europe is not prepared for this type of heat. Most...[ read more ]

Newsletter August 2022

August 1, 2022

Boca Vineyards of Davide Carlone located in the Alto Piemonte foothills of the Alps (Download complete pdf here) Prelude to our New Italian Arrivals Scene I Wines from Sicily, Campania, Liguria, Abruzzo, Lombardia, Valle d’Aosta, and even many parts of Piemonte, like Alto Piemonte, existed in relative obscurity up until less than a couple of decades ago, even for those...[ read more ]

Newsletter July 2022

July 1, 2022

Climate change is relentless. June was a scorcher in Europe while at the same time just a month ago France was hit by yet more major hailstorms in many areas. European countries are playing a high-stakes game of dodgeball, with the climate playing an unrelenting offense. If it’s not hail, it’s mildew pressure and/or rain at the wrong time, hot...[ read more ]

Newsletter June 2022

May 30, 2022

Süditrol’s St. Magdelena vines shot from Fliederhof winery, May 2022 May, Europe’s new summer month… As we descend upon Germany via train from Milan through the Alps, our group of four are all wounded and bloated from a massive intake of beef tartar, vitello tonnato, agnolotti, ravioli, gnocchi, and a near overdose of Nebbiolo (if that’s possible… well, maybe it...[ read more ]

Newsletter May 2022

May 5, 2022

Reznicek, a fabulous, new Viennese restaurant by sommelier Simon Schubert I’m writing this month’s newsletter in Vienna even though I thought about canceling this trip, as I have frequently done in the last few months due to Covid and the war next door, but I figure I can’t wait forever for the world to stabilize in every direction to feel...[ read more ]

Newsletter April 2022

March 30, 2022

Ancient Roman/Medieval bridge (ponte) of Ponte de Lima, Portugal (March 2022). April-May Arrivals We all share the belt-tightening sensation of tax season, or at least most of us do, and I’ve made it a habit to be on the wine trail during this time to avoid the stress as much as possible. Without my team back home, spearheaded by my...[ read more ]

Newsletter March 2022

March 3, 2022

Alfredo Egia's Txakoli vineyard New Education Materials After doing tons of research, Spanish geologist Ivan Rodriguez and I finished our latest terroir map, as well as a short essay on some of the geological story between Navarra and Rioja, both of which are downloadable here. Also, on our website profile of Navarra producer, Aseginolaza & Leunda, there is a deeper...[ read more ]

Navarra and Rioja Geological Overview

February 16, 2022

Co-authored and co-researched by MSc Geology and PhD Student at the University of Vigo, Ivan Rodriguez, and Ted Vance, from The Source Imports. Preface The geological setting of Navarra and Rioja can be distilled down to what is mostly sedimentary rock including limestones, marls, sandstones, and shales with a broad spectrum of different compositions, size grains (clay, silt, sand gravel,...[ read more ]

Newsletter January 2022

January 6, 2022

A path along Scotland's Great Glen Way Here we are again with yet another new year after one that seems to have blistered by. Indeed, it wasn’t a complete year on our business end, what with the restaurants not opening until after the first quarter, but from there it quickly picked up momentum. I got home to Portugal a couple...[ read more ]

Newsletter December 2021

November 30, 2021

Spain’s Asturian Coast Maybe I’m just imagining it because I’ve been gone for so long, but everyone here in California seems to smile more and is generally more friendly than I remember. Perhaps it’s because I’m so happy to see people out and about, or maybe it’s because I can finally see people’s mouths again! On the other hand, I...[ read more ]

Newsletter November 2021

November 2, 2021

Piemonte and the Alps I’ve finally returned for a couple-month stay in California and was greeted yesterday by a torrential downpour that the state has desperately needed. Meanwhile, the wine industry freight woes continue with the constant touch-and-go challenge of extensive delays. I waited until the last moment to write this newsletter until I got the go ahead from my...[ read more ]

October Travel Journal

October 8, 2021

I’ve dreamt of filming the Wachau’s section of the Danube River gorge for years, and even proposed to Emmerich Knoll, a good friend and the current president of the Vinea Wachau, about ten years ago to rent a helicopter (before drones were really around). The idea was to film the whole thing to use for a US tasting tour with...[ read more ]

Newsletter October 2021

September 29, 2021

Finally coming home! (My original home, anyway…) It’s been two years since I’ve been to the US and a lot has happened (including babies!). It will be nice to see all the faces I’ve missed and all the new people I’ve yet to meet in person. I’m especially happy that I’ll be seeing my father, who turned eighty this year...[ read more ]

Newsletter September 2021

September 2, 2021

Our good friend, guru and professional skipper, Dino Giordano, in the Amalfi Coast Every year it’s the same story: How did summer fly by so quickly? It really is hard to accept that it’s already September. After a long road trip visiting friends/producers, I’ve returned to an overload of work, yet I still manage to find time to sit down...[ read more ]

A Drone’s Eye View

September 1, 2021

The Bigger Picture by Ted Vance Rioja, Spain We have a new member on the team in the form of a high-flying piece of technological plastic with intricate circuitry and a nice camera. The most difficult part of the drone is realizing long after I’ve left a location only to see how poorly I may have filmed, and by then,...[ read more ]

Tribute to Becky Wasserman

August 31, 2021

  Becky Wasserman (1937-2021) We want to take a moment to acknowledge what the late Becky Wasserman has meant to our company. It was Becky and her team who gently nudged us to start The Source more than ten years ago. To work with Becky’s growers meant solid footing for us and immediate credibility in the industry; it opened doors...[ read more ]

Newsletter August 2021

August 4, 2021

Fleiderhof

Südtirol, Italy Our first terroir map is up! I’ve been teasing the official release of our terroir maps for a while. Finally, our Ribeira Sacra terroir map is up on our website. It’s the first of seven from Northwest Iberia that we have coming over the next few months. There’s also an essay on Ribeira Sacra on the same page...[ read more ]

Ribeira Sacra Terroir Overview

July 15, 2021

Amandi on the left, Ribeiras do Sil on the right

An Incomplete Collection of Observations and Considerations. Round One. The Ribeira Sacra is complicated. There is so much more than what is readily apparent beyond the breathtaking imagery of vertigo-inducing vineyard terraces towering over the silvery, slow-moving rivers far below. Broken up into five general wine regions, it has a greater diversity of grapes, expositions, altitudes, slope angles, bedrock types...[ read more ]

Newsletter July 2021

June 28, 2021

Thierry Richoux

The mostly abandoned historic center of Masserano in Alto Piemonte New Terroir Maps One of the obvious requirements of being a wine importer is that you really need to know as much as possible about the wines you import, the regions they come from, and who’s who in the region—especially if your principal customers are the top culinary restaurants and...[ read more ]

Newsletter June 2021

June 3, 2021

Saint-Aubin vineyard facing Chassagne-Montrachet (maybe En Remilly?) Containers are finally landing As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, wines from Hubert Lamy, Simon Bize, Guiberteau, Brendan Stater-West, and Justin Dutraive are here. Due to the unpredictable delays at the port, Berthaut-Gerbet’s 2018s will unexpectedly arrive in June ahead of many others that were ordered a month earlier! The quality of Amelie...[ read more ]

Interview with Brendan Stater-West

May 17, 2021

Brendan Stater-West at Romain Guiberteau's winery

Brézé & Bizay His Way Photo and interview by Ted Vance Spring 2021 How did an Oregon native like you end up in France? I moved to France in 2007 after I finished up my studies in Oregon. I double majored in French. I wanted to leave the US for a period of time, looking for adventure, and Europe offered...[ read more ]

Newsletter May 2021

April 28, 2021

After more than six months, Andrea and I finally had an opportunity to get out of Portugal and into Spain. It’s been strange to be only twenty minutes away by car but unable to go for so long! Over the last three weeks we found our way through Galicia, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Navarra, and finally, Txakoli—what a bunch of...[ read more ]

Newsletter April 2021

March 30, 2021

We can see the light, but we’re not out of the woods yet. One of the most important wine business headlines for us importers happened on March 6th, with the suspension of the tariffs on wine, among other products. The day the news dropped, a steady stream of messages from our producers flooded my phone, along with all my other...[ read more ]

Newsletter March 2021

February 28, 2021

Rias Baixas Landscape

The Source’s Most Important Recent Arrivals Welcome to the first official Source monthly newsletter. Yeah, it’s been a long time coming! After a tough economic year for all of us in this métier reliant on hospitality, food and wine, we are gearing up for what we hope will be a strong return before 2021 comes to an end. Hopefully you’ve...[ read more ]

Montsoreau | Arnaud Lambert

Before the 2014 vintage, I suggested Arnaud begin to isolate the most interesting parcels of Chenin Blanc that haven’t yet been made into single cru wines to explore for new and previously overlooked talented parcels. The plan was to make two barrels from each site, observe and taste them through their élevage, and if we were both pleased with the...[ read more ]

Riecine – Rewinding the Clock and Moving Forward

December 10, 2020

Chianti Clasico Riserva

If you have interest in Italian wines, particularly those from Tuscany, Riecine could be a worthwhile consideration for you. The style of the wines at Riecine wear many faces, from the elegant and lifted Chianti Classico, the more savory and deep Chianti Classico Riserva, the unapologetically top-heavy red fruited, full-throttle Sangiovese, La Gioia, and the most dainty and Burgundian of...[ read more ]

Holiday Bubbles

November 16, 2020

Winston Churchill said in 1946, “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.” Whether you think you deserve it or need it, everyone in the US probably really could regularly use a good glass or bottle of bubbles. With what will inevitably be a difficult remainder of this unforgettable year that we’d...[ read more ]

The Thanksgiving Six

November 16, 2020

It may have taken all year for us to finally arrive at a silver lining of gratitude for a unique year that continues to serve up one piece of humble pie after another. Finally some good news arrived that we can all be thankful for—the arrival of a potential vaccine, as well as… a few other things… So many in the wine...[ read more ]

While only in his early forties, Manuel Moldes appears to be well on his way to Yoda status by age fifty, although his peers throughout the expansive underground Spanish wine scene think he’s already there. One of the brightest lights in the rising tide of the Rías Baixas, his inspired talent for wine feels innate. And though his aptitude for...[ read more ]

Top Value French Sauvignon Blanc

October 6, 2020

François Crochet walking through his vineyards in Sancerre

François Crochet (left) and Romain Collet (right) are two of the most talented vignerons from their regions. When we have access to the limited production of their value wines, we take everything we can. A Short Story On The Wines François Crochet's Coteaux du Giennois is no ordinary wine. It’s a special parcel on the right bank (east side) of...[ read more ]

It's been a long wait, but Jean-Noël Gagnard's 2017s finally made it. Within our group of restaurant sommeliers, Jean-Noël Gagnard has some seriously devout fans that have snapped up our minuscule supply for their restaurant programs since we began to import her wines a decade ago, starting with the 2008 vintage. Perhaps it’s because the range is a match made...[ read more ]

Cume do Avia

If your wine world revolves around natural wines, wines of true terroir identity that are as unaltered as possible by the hand of the grower so as to remain pure, with high-tones, and vigorous, deep textures, then read on and get ready to buy. You won’t want to miss these. Cume do Avia’s wines are rare. Most of them are...[ read more ]

Organic and Biodymanic French Summer Reds

June 9, 2020

It’s summertime and while we tend to veer toward drinking bubbles, rosé and white, reds still have their occasion. The six red wines in our offer come from six different organic and biodynamic growers. What I’ve chosen is only one of the many wines each of these growers makes. So, don’t stop with these, dig into their other wines by...[ read more ]

David Croix Beaune Les Centes Vignes

There are few wines I am more excited for you to drink than Domaine des Croix's 2017s One of the most compelling qualities about David Croix is his directness. He answers all questions candidly, no candy-coating, no embellishment. His wines have similar qualities; they’re honest and straightforward. Respectful. There’s only beauty coming from the wines made from this estate. And...[ read more ]

The Pangaean Ten

May 13, 2020

That question again... Is it possible by taste to assess what type of bedrock and soil a wine comes from? I am aware that extensive, abstract or technical wine writing doesn’t usually sell wine, but I don’t care. I view short, oversimplified marketing strategies with catchy, punchy and clever comic book-style writing too short and shallow, word salads that don’t...[ read more ]

Piedmont Palate Protection Plan

May 7, 2020

  My wife, Andrea, and I live in northern Portugal now, but we spent the previous year in Salerno, an ancient southern Italian port city sandwiched between the Amalfi and Cilento coasts. We just received a few care packages from some good friends over there; you know, the usual provisions, like Amalfi Coast lemons, anchovies and colatura from Acqua Pazza,...[ read more ]

The Everyday Dozen

April 27, 2020

We know our business is not going to save the world. But we’d like to help brighten as many moments as we can. We plan to continue offering you deals over the next months with our overstocked goodies that were originally destined for our restaurant customers. We can’t keep them forever and our growers always have another pile of wines...[ read more ]

The style of wine crafted chez Collet is directed by the deep history with their family's vineyard parcels, how they grow and how they’re different from each other. Each wine has something to say, and the Collets have taken the route of customizing their approach to exemplify the natural talents of their many different vineyards. At the young age of twenty-one, the...[ read more ]

Arnaud Lambert winemaker from the Loire Valley.

We again found ourselves at Les Trois Bourgeons for dinner, at a table further away from the constant, freezing draft coming from the front door. Ted sat at the head of the table between Andrea and Sébastien Christophe, looking forward to the arrival of Arnaud Lambert, another one of his favorite producers, who was on his way over from his...[ read more ]

Beaujolais in Context

August 20, 2019

"Beaujolais is not what it used to be…" I bet you’ve never heard that one before. Recently I had a conversation about how bright red, crunchy fruit renditions of Beaujolais contrast those with more ripe fruit components and deeper textures, with consequently higher alcohol. I found myself defending the latter, not because it’s what I prefer (quite the contrary), but...[ read more ]

Chardigny vineyards

After leaving Chez Dutraive, our next stop was a business call to two promising young Beaujolais producers that Jean-Louis had met a few months earlier, when they had sold him a shipment of much-needed grapes after the losses to hail. Once he tasted their wines it immediately occurred to him that Ted should meet them. Again we drove through countryside...[ read more ]

A Snapshot of Corsica Geology

June 12, 2019

I first visited Corsica a number of years ago and was struck by the sheer complexity of this island’s geographical profile. Affectionately referred to as the l’Île de Beauté  by the French, and famously “a mountain in the sea” by the German geographer, Friedrich Ratzel, Corsica is one of France’s (and formerly Italy’s) most spectacular departments, and the fourth largest island in...[ read more ]

A Small Adventure in Iberia (and Elsewhere)

May 14, 2019

Andrea and I started our journey with a much-needed out of wine experience in Scotland on the Great Glen Way with our friends, Reuben, Bella and Benjamin Weininger. I admit that after seven months in Italy it was nice to be in a country where both of us were fluent in the local language; although sometimes Italians speaking Italian are...[ read more ]