This is the fifth in a series of profiles on importers of Italian wines into Australia. Today, Andrew Guard of Andrew Guard Wine Imports, is providing the answers. You can find their website here.
Q1 What is your business?
- I am an importer and wholesaler of fine wine.
Q2 How long have you been importing Italian wines into Australia?
- I have been importing Italian wines here for 1 year and French wines for three.
Q3 How did your interest in Italian wines start?
- Someone poured me a Boscarelli Vino Nobile a long time ago that I loved and I’ve been on a voyage of discovery since.
Q4 What kind of Italian wines do you focus on in your portfolio and why?
- At this stage Piedmont is the region that I have chosen to specialise in and purely because it produces the Italian wines that I love most.
Q5 What Italian wines sell well out of your portfolio at the moment?
- Dolcetto, Barbera and also Nebbiolo d’Alba – the market is still a little fragile for Barolo!
Q6 What Italian wines do you find hardest to sell in Australia?
- Within my little business I find Cru Barolo hardest but that is only due to price.
Q7 What do you think is the place of Italian wines in Australia, and is this changing?
- Due to the large Italian migrant population in Australia; Italian wine is ubiquitous and the many Italian restaurants we have proudly serve and promote them. I think there is a friendliness and a romance that surrounds the image of Italy that has helped Italian wines gain broad appeal and this will continue – the future is very bright.
Q8 Recent years have seen significant increases in the number and diversity of Australian wines made from Italian grape varieties. What are your thoughts on Australian wines made from Italian varieties?
- There have been some OK ones but on the whole I think the wrong varieties have been planted in the wrong area – the best yet to come.
Q9 Greatest Italian wine moment?
- Finding my first bottle of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo by Valentini and then drinking it with a good friend, smiles all round.
Q10 What Italian wines are you most likely to drink at home?
- I have always loved Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Vernaccia di San Gimignano for drinking around the house and with casual meals and for red wines I like high quality Barbera d’Alba and Valpolicella.