Importer of the Week: Wolfgang Endreß
Labels so far: 44 wineries at the moment including larger wineries like Chateau Dereszla, Bock Cellar, Vylyan and smallers like Miklós Rácz, Böjt Winery, Gróf Buttler or Szászi Winery
It started with love, passion, Balaton
How did you become a wine professional?
Well, at the end of the 90s I fell in love with wines. I tasted many German, Italian, French and Austrian wines. I was participated in many wine tastings in Germany. Moreover once I was invited as a jury to a German Riesling tasting. I decided to take part in a professional wine seminar in Wien, Austria. Somehow I was convinced I would like to work with wines.
How did you become a specialist of Hungarian wines? Do you have any Hungarian relatives?
As I already had deeper knowledge on wines of the international market I travelled to Hungary for a holiday in the summer of 2004. In Balaton region I was with my acquaintances and they advised me to taste Hungarian wines. First I was a little sceptic, I must say… but after some particularly interesting samples I was very surprised at the quality and the style of the wines. I was wondering about launching a small wine firm and if I start, why not with Hungarian wines? Hungarian wines were at that time really unknown in Germany and in Western Europe so it was quite a big challenge for me. But somehow I have started and now I am a Hungarian wine specialist! Moreover I am very happy married with a Hungarian wife and I have a son (6), who speaks Hungarian already very well! Thanks to my wife and son, Hungarian culture and love of Hungary stays with our family.
Long lasting relationships and quality oriented attitude
Do you remember your first experience of tasting a Hungarian wine?
Yes, I do. My first experience was with Konyári, Garamvári and Takler wines. They were also my first partners. I am very proud of these long lasting relationships and cooperations.
You have a really wide selection with smaller wineries and icon names as well, how do you pick a winery? What was your last discovery?
I am always very curious about new vintages, new wines and new smaller wineries. I think in the last 5-8 years a very significant innovation took place in Hungary. New small startups and new winemakers with international knowledge, experience and brand new ideas appeared on the market. Sometimes it is really difficult to follow the new trends, but I regularly take part in thematic wine tastings in Budapest and I visit the wineries personally. Thanks to my wife I get also information and news from the social media as Facebook, Blogs etc. So I am very up-to-date. Unfortunately almost all information is in Hungarian… So alone it would be a little bit difficult. I am always searching for wines of the best quality and for interesting notes. Of course the price should be also ok, but quality has priority. If I bought cheap wines of low quality, I could not sell them to my customers. We and I as specialists must stand for quality. My last big interesting discovery was in February and this is a Pinot Noir from the Tokaj wine region!
You should know your customers to make them happy
Who are your clients?
Through our online webshop we sell Hungarian wines all over Europe and sometimes wines go also overseas. But of course our main market is in Germany. We have a lot of regular customers. In the last 13 years we tried to maintain their trust and we are always happy to get their order. Of course we are very interested in gaining new customers as well. Thanks to our wine tastings we reach open minded people interested in new styles and new wine countries as Hungary. We have also reseller partners in Germany and Austria such as other wine stores, supermarkets, hotels, smaller wine seminars and other companies. It is very important to know your customers and their tastes moreover to have the overview about your assortment. We would like to make our customers happy with our recommendations.
What are your plans for the future? What will be the next new item in your portfolio?
I could say we are very satisfied and would like to continue our work on the same basics in the near future. Of course, with the same enthusiasm. I am personally dreaming about a small wine bar in Munich but it is only for the remote future. And I eagerly look forward to wines of the new vintage 2017!