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Wine Spectator: Straight Talk With Vintus CEO Michael Quinttus

June 5, 2020

Earlier this week, Wine Spectator’s Straight Talk series on Instagram Live hosted a conversation between Michael Quinttus, founder and CEO of New York-based importer and distributor Vintus, and Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson. The discussion touched on Vintus’ luxury-focused portfolio, its future in domestic wines, and how the pandemic has changed the business landscape.

“We’re about to announce, in another week, the addition of another winery from California,” Quinttus noted, adding that the company remains on the lookout for new brands, but that they must not conflict with existing offerings. Key brands in the Vintus range include Champagne Bollinger, E. Guigal, and Château Minuty from France; Italy’s Tommasi, Ornellaia, and Masciarelli; and Chateau Montelena, Gary Farrell, and Ponzi from the U.S.

Turning to the business climate, Quinttus said a takeaway from the on-premise shutdown is the importance of having a diverse portfolio, spread between top restaurants and retailers. He added that during period of economic trouble, it’s common to see consumers trading down to more affordable wines, but that there are exceptions. “Brands that have strong branding and a consumer following and reputation for being leaders in their categories—let’s say like Ornellaia among Super Tuscans—we’re surprised at how stable their business has been.”—Shane English

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