Meet Our Team
We couldn't do any of this without the hardwork & support of our valued team!
How It All Began
It all started - as many entrepreneur stories have lately - during quarantine...
We actually fell in love with Vinho Verde wines when we got ‘stuck’ in Portugal in 2020 – we were living in London when Leigh got pre-approved for his green card to come to the States…the day before the UK went in to lockdown!
So, having already handed in our notices to our jobs & apartment and unable to come to the states while we had a visa in process, we planned to spend the summer travelling Europe, which was beginning to open up again after COVID. Europe had a very dubious & unpopular ‘traffic light’ system, advising which countries could be travelled to, based on their case numbers, and one of the few ‘green’ countries was Portugal, so that’s where we decided to go at the beginning of July 2020.
A New Love
And it was in Porto that we first tried a Vinho Verde wine and instantly fell in love with the light, crisp taste and refreshing spritz – and that’s basically all we drank until we were able to enter the states in October!
Excited to tell all of our family & friends about ‘green wine’, as it would be the perfect SoCal wine, we soon realised it was not something that was readily available here, and that’s when we had the crazy idea to start importing it to the US!
We then spent the next year & half researching how to start our own wine import & retail business – which seemed like an insurmountable challenge at the time but we just tackled one thing at a time, until May 2022, we decided we were ready to take the plunge!
We quit our jobs, found a guide & translator (Diego, who is now a very good friend and still an integral member of the team), and headed to the Vinho Verde to learn as much as we could about the region & it’s wine, from its producers.
We then spent 3 months traveling all nine sub-regions, visited 35+ wineries and tried about 350 different wines – an unforgettable experience for obvious reasons, but even more so as the longer we stayed, and the more we learnt, the more we fell in love with the place, it’s people & their wines, and the more we felt confident that we had made the right decision about starting this venture.
We then got back to the States, decided which wines we wanted to import, and then began the very difficult journey of actually getting the wines from rural, northern Portugal to Southern California – and on top of that, having to enter the extremely difficult and non-sensical world of alcohol licensing – just thinking about the COLA label process brings me out in a cold sweat!
But thankfully we got our alcohol licenses and managed to move forward with 12 producers and 45 wines – and our first shipment of bottles arrived in November 2022.
Spread The Word
The Vinho Verdes that you do find in the US are mass-produced, which are perfectly fine, but most people’s idea of what Vinho Verdes are, come from these wines and they are actually not very representative of the region.
So it was important to us to find the real wine-makers of the Vinho Verde and find the producers that could tell us the true history of the region & it’s wines – so all of our wines are true Vinho Verdes, made artisanally, from small-family run producers, that are low-intervention and have sustainable-farming practices.
But maybe more importantly, they all have a story to tell and are made with love!
So please join us in enjoying these wines and spreading the word to your family & friends by bringing them a bottle and saying ’Have you heard of ‘Green Wine’?!