Hi, I'm Alleah, and I'm probably one of the pickiest wine importers in the world.
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In 2013 we sold our belongings, moved out of our apartment, and spent 9 months searching Europe for our first portfolio of wines.
Today we're just as dedicated to finding and importing the world’s best undiscovered wines.
Alleah has spent the last 10 years managing various sales teams and consulting projects. When she moved to San Francisco to pursue her MBA, she immediately became addicted to weekend trips to Napa, Sonoma, and Lodi. It took only a few years for her love of wine and entrepreneurial spirit to merge into what is now Bliss Wine Imports. In 2015 she became a certified sommelier.
"10 years ago I started as many young wine drinkers do, loving $4 bottles of white zin. As I was introduced to new wines my palate expanded. Now I love many wines from all over the world and have a lot of fun teaching people about wine. Knowing how to drink and the story behind wine really enhances the experience. It's all about experience and having a great time." - Alleah
Erin has a 19 year history as a web developer and designer, so it was natural that she would lead the technology and design sides of Bliss. She also has a passion for photography and captured 99% of the photos on this website and our blog.
While she may not be a sommelier, after hundreds and hundreds of winery and vineyard visits, winemaker interviews, and tastings all over the world, she has ended up with a serious education in wine.
Every wine we evaluate involves an in-depth exploration of the place, people and processes that make the wine what it is.
We're driven by our love for amazing wine. We spend days, weeks, and months in foreign countries getting to know the languages, the people, the cultures. We explore long, winding dirt roads and find hidden vineyards that don't show up on maps.
We get lost in remote villages and have to ask for directions using hand signals more than we'd like to admit. We hike muddy fields and climb steep hillsides searching for people who make amazing wine. We never stop learning and we appreciate beyond measure the incredible job we have.
All of our winemakers use natural, organic vineyard treatments and minimalist winery practices. The pay off is more than just sustainable agriculture and a healthier environment. It also produces better tasting wine! Do you know what chemicals and additives are in the wine you drink?
We only buy wine that is fairly priced to begin with. Our prices reflect the real cost of the wine plus the cost of transportation from origin to the United States and a small markup for us. That means you get a fabulous price on unique, pure and memorable wines.
Why do some wines cost so much? It has a lot to do with marketing, and little to do with wine. Fancy, modern wineries have large investments to pay back. Small family wineries that have owned their land and cellars for centuries don't have to jack up prices to get investment returns.
We believe in paying for delicious wine, not for famous names that don't live up to their price tags. Another reason some wines cost so much? Famous wine regions demand high prices no matter the quality of the wine.
Let's be real. Just because a winemaker is passionate and uses natural techniques and practices, it doesn't mean the wine will taste amazing. Finding winemakers who fit the profile we look for is just the first step in discovering whether a wine is delicious enough for you.
We taste thousands of wines before we make our selections. The ones that stand out are tasted again and again. The process continues until we've narrowed our selections to the few that embody the best taste, quality and value.
Our wines come from winemakers driven to produce the most pure wine, which means they can only produce small quantities. Small producers get ignored by most wine importers who need to sell large quantities to make a profit. This means they've gone undiscovered in the United States, until now.
Bliss Wine Imports values quality over quantity, passion over profit. We dedicate our lives to bringing small quantities of these artisanal products to you.
When a winemaker is passionate about quality, he or she must have total control over their production. It's an intense process that can't be maintained when the production quantity grows large.
When quantity becomes their focus, the wine's quality, personality and purity suffer.
A Gambling Problem
Every time we got a craving for a bottle of wine, we did what everybody does. We hit the supermarket wine aisle, facing countless bottles, feeling anxiety build. It always felt like a gamble, with the odds piled high against us.
To fix the problem we decided to quit our jobs and become wine importers so that we could find the best wines, one by one, in person.
We packed our bags and set out for Europe where we spent nine months exploring wine regions and tasting thousands of wines. What did we look for? At first, we looked for any wine that was not already imported in the U.S.
Trends We Discovered
As we visited more and more vineyards and tasted thousands of wines, we discovered some very strong trends.
We discovered that the best wines come from:
Small winemakers producing less than 10,000 cases per year
Winemakers that don't buy grapes from other vineyards
Vineyards that don't use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers
Winemakers that believe their job is to aid the natural process, not to create flavors to fit a certain profile
Grapes that are native to the region, not popular ones that are grown there just because they will easily sell
We're a small company importing the small percentage of wines that have passed our tests and we're selling to people like you, who care about quality and taste as much as we do.
All of our wines must pass the obvious tests. They must be well balanced. Their complexity must match their age, price and intention. They must taste delicious. But this is not enough.
Part of our process includes tasting wines blind. After we've selected a group of standouts of a certain style, we'll taste them again and again, blindly and at different times and places. It's amazing how some wines can taste good in one situation but taste completely different later or somewhere else.
Only the best wines are consistently delicious, time after time, in every situation. These are the wines we import.
When we meet a new winemaker, we spend hours asking them in-depth questions about how they make their wine. We tour their vineyards and their cellars. We taste wine that's not ready to be released yet and wine that's available for sale. We cover all the bases and get to know everything about their wines to make sure they are the perfect fit for us.
On the road
What's it like on the road sourcing our wine? It's a lot of work but also a lot of fun! Check out the photos above to get a feel for what we do when we're on the road.
We send you custom cases of the wines we import
We create custom shipments of the wines we import based on your preferences.
how many bottles per shipment
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Customize, cancel or skip any shipment
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"Everything about Alleah's approach to importing – meeting the producers face to face, handpicking the wines, and connecting the consumer with the winemakers – appeals to me. The wines capture a sense of time and place in a bottle. Those of us who participated in the tasting quickly realized we were tasting the future of wine importing and it sure is blissful."
- Elizabeth Smith
"This wine blew me away. It seemed more complex than other reds I've had, and just had a sophistication to it that I loved. It wasn't overly fruity and the floral nature to it was nice but not overbearing. It went really well with our meal and was a great conversation piece with our guests."
- Neil Rieger
"As an entrepreneur and someone that likes "real" wines, I'm intrigued by what you're doing. We had so many reasonably priced, excellent wines in France that we just can't get here. Getting access to wines like that is very cool."
- Steve Betz
"So far everything has been very unique, which being from the [San Francisco] Bay Area is a breath of fresh air."
- Warren Muller
"I have followed the Bliss Wine Imports story on Facebook for months now. I have been totally impressed by their journey to find the best tasting wines at the best value. Most wine buying groups are just finding the wine they like that is already in the USA. Bliss goes to the source and finds the best!"
- Jason Reid
"Great people, great wines, quality service, and, oh yeah...a SUPERIOR website with all the info you could ever need on their wines. 5 stars only because that's as high as it goes."
- Marci Rochester
"I've been following Bliss Wine Imports's story from the beginning, learning about wine from Alleah and Erin's travels. Alleah's wine videos and blog about the wines proved to me that she knew her stuff. Her dedication to researching these little known family wineries impressed me so much that I decided to try one of her 6-pack cases for the holidays. The wine arrived on-time and well packed (and biodegradable packaging!). I enjoyed trying the different types of wines as I perused the Bliss website. I brought a bottle of the 2012 Caecus Verderón white to my neighbor's dinner party, and it was a big hit! What a way to impress my new neighbors! I'm looking forward to tasting the next collection!"
- Pilar Newman
"The wine is stellar. We're both loving it."
- Joseph Hovespian
"I'm already a big fan of the wines of Portugal and I was very impressed with the selections Alleah poured."
- Marcy Gordon