Vine Street Imports got its start back in 1999, the era of The Sopranos, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and boy bands who rocked all-white. Over 20 years ago, our founder Ronnie Sanders had a few conversations with an Australian construction contractor which would eventually pave the way for the birth of a new Australian-focused wine importer.
While that Aussie’s brand, Two Hands, was a very important part of our history, it was also the subsequent relationships with Michael Dhillon of Bindi, Stephen Black of Small Gully, Col McBryde of Adelina/Some Young Punks and George Shinas of Shinas Estate that would become the foundation of our Aussie book back then and upon which it is still built today.
The pursuit of boundary-pushing producers in a country that was better known for safe and cheerful wines is something that Ronnie has always thrived on. Our portfolio today is largely a snapshot of over two decades of the evolution of his palate, and the market has followed suit. Who would have thought that no sulfur, sub-12%, skin contact wines from the Adelaide Hills would become the wines du jour? We started to bring these wines stateside back in 2012, well before anyone else gave it a go.
We don’t chase what we think is next or trendy. Instead, we seek soulful producers who really echo our ethos. We aren’t afraid of the challenge of pushing the proverbial boulder up the hill. Why? Because we relish the opportunity to learn and to teach the entire vinous story of Australia.
The country is about far more than sunshine in a glass and cheerful, colorful labels. It is about more than old vines, old soils and nearly 200 years of winemaking history. Australia is something truly special because of its innovative people who possess a less is more attitude. It is our privilege to represent them and their wines.