There is little question that California is well known for the wine that is produced within the state. So popular is wine from California and particularly the Napa Valley area that distributors are hard-pressed to keep up with the demand. For those who sell wine, finding the best California wine distributor is essential in keeping well-supplied with the wine your customers love.
A typical California wine distributor works closely with wineries to ensure that their product reaches the customers. While many wineries sell directly to consumers, it can be difficult for wineries to reach markets, especially those outside of their location. This is because it takes a staff of dedicated people to reach out, demonstrate, and sell the product to retailers who understand their customer base.
What follows is a list of distributors that specialize in wines produced from California. Each has its unique history and offers a wide selection of wines that are all produced in the state. Keep in mind that it took many years for these wine distributors to reach their current status.
Henry Wine Group
Founded in 1985, the Henry Wine Group was originally created to address the growing need of suppliers of fine wine not getting adequate representation by the large, mostly liquor-oriented distributors. The company began as Vintage House Distributors in the southern California area and worked to establish relations with a select group of fine wine companies that has expanded over the years. Today, the Henry Wine Group is one of the largest brokers, importers, and distributors of fine wine in the US. Their reputation has been earned over the years through their dedication, emphasis on working with high-quality fine wine companies, and filling an important need in the wine market.
Mendocino Wine Company
Founded in 2004, the Mendocino Wine Company has grown over the years to become one of the most successful wine distributors in the US. Based in Ukiah, California, the company has managed to earn a strong reputation for working with customers and providing a wide assortment of wines from California and around the world. For many customers, this company has managed to be one of the most popular thanks to its emphasis on building strong relationships.
Regal Wine Company
Since 1993, the Regal Wine Company has been the California wine distributor which has earned a solid reputation for its emphasis on creating strong, solid relationships with its customers. The company began with just four wineries and ten sales representatives working to build up interest in wine from California. It was not long before the company stated to enjoy considerable success when in 1996, the inclusion of the Jackson Family Wineries led to the creation of the Royal Chain Division within the company.
Soon, both domestic and imported wine partners came onboard and by the turn of the 21st century, the first group of Regal managers were earning their Master Sommelier certifications. With over 9,000 accounts and nearly 200 employees, the Regal Wine Company has grown to become one of the largest and most successful wine distributors out of California.
Southern Wine & Spirits
The largest California wine distributor, Southern Wine & Spirits were established in 1969 and have grown into one of the most respected of all wine distributors in the country. Over the years, Southern Wine & Spirits has managed to garner a larger share of the wine market to the point where they are considered the number one distributor in California and run a network located in 32 states that makes them one of the most prominent in the country.
Wine Bridge Imports
Based in Northern California, Wine Bridge Imports is a smaller California wine distributor compared to some on the list, but they have earned a sterling reputation for working with the best wineries both in and outside the United States.
That reputation is built on finding the best wineries and establishing strong relationships with them over the long-term. This family-owned business does things the old-fashioned way in terms of emphasizing quality over fads but is quite modern in their approach to working inside the ever-changing market of wine.
In 1973, Bob and Jim Myerson founded Wine Warehouse and began its operations to bring fine wine to its customers from around the world. By 1978, the company established itself as a wholesaler which emphasized fine wines, representing roughly half of the bonded wineries located in the Napa Valley at the time. By the 1980s, the company had expanded rapidly and grew substantially in meeting the demand for fine wines in the country.
It was not long before Wine Warehouse was recognized as a leader in fine wine, craft beer, and artisanal spirits which has helped propel the company since its founding in 1973. Today, Wine Warehouse is bigger than ever, yet it still emphasizes the same qualities that have made it one of the best in all of California.
Young’s Market Company
One of the oldest and largest of all distributors, Young’s Market Company was founded in 1888 in Los Angeles. Incorporated in 1906, the company expanded considerably over the years to include building a food manufacturing facility in 1910, a high-end retail store in 1925 which quickly spread across California, but it was the emphasis on wine and liquor distribution that soon became a major emphasis. For those interested in selling wine and liquor, this California wine distributor is certainly the most established.
The best California wine distributor is one that offers the wine your customers love at prices that fit your budget. The best distributors work with companies of all sizes and even individuals depending on their needs. For many, the wine business has become more than just a way to reach new customers, but a means to building strong relationships which is the heart of distribution.
The distributors on this list have earned their reputation by providing top-flight service, a wide selection of wines, and offering their product at reasonable prices, so your customers can enjoy the wine that is being produced.