Importers of the Year
Domaine Select Wine Estates
Back in 1999, husband-and-wife team Paolo and Allison Domeneghetti were working for rival New York wine and spirits wholesalers, but they shared the same frustration: The big companies didn't devote time to small brands with complicated backstories. Says Paolo, "The most fascinating producers, the ones who respect their traditions and where they came fromthose personalities were just getting lost." That year, the newlyweds founded Domaine Select Wine Estates. Winemakers signed on almost immediately, such as iconoclast Ales Kristancic of Movia in Slovenia; other famous names followed later, like Josko Gravner of Italy's Friuli region and Nicolas Joly, the Loire's outspoken godfather of biodynamics. The Domeneghettis' rigorously chosen portfolio now ranges from a $10 Barbera from Piedmont's Fontanafredda to a top Soldera Brunello that costs upward of $400, primarily wines that keep to a philosophy of biodynamic and natural winemaking.