Wine of Argentina
The idea for MYTHIC has been a long time coming. The dream of having our own brand always had its allure. We were all young and hungry, eager to show off our skills to management... whether as winemaker, agronomist, operations manager, export manager, or the sales/marketing guy. Over time, lifelong friendships were forged in the tight Mendoza wine community... along with many late-night dinners: we would each bring a bottle of something sure to knock everyone's socks off. And as the night wore on, the conversations would always gravitate toward the same topics of conversation.... basically a lot of complaining. The winemaker would moan about how management restricts his artistic freedom to create something truly spectacular.... the operations manager groaning about ownership's uncanny ability to stifle growth and squander resources... and the sales & marketing guy would then gripe about the archaic 3-tier system of distribution in the US that punishes the little guy. And after one particularly whiney evening.... we all agreed that we should join forces and launch a new brand ourselves.
Keith had always had an interest in wines it seems. In high school, he worked at the local liquor store.... mostly a beer shop, but they did have quite a nice selection of wines.... many that sat for years... such a shame. He would study the distributor catalogs and research why some wines were so much more expensive than others... no small feat as this was pre-internet. The idea that 750ml of juice in one bottle could fetch several times more than that of another fascinated him. He recalls his very first hand-picked bottle... a 1982 Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon... which he served alongside a home-cooked meal he prepared for his girlfriend. He ended up marrying that girl... and attributes his good fortune to that great bottle of wine. After graduating from college, Keith needed to find a job to start paying back his student loans. His love of numbers pointed him in the direction of accounting & finance... and so the world of wine was forced to take a back seat. Fast forward several years, and he gets the opportunity to become involved with a new winery project by way of his career in finance... and jumps at the opportunity.
"We broke ground for Casarena at the end of 2007... bottled our first vintage from the 2009 harvest, and launched the sales efforts half way through 2010. It was a crazy, exciting experience... starting a winery from nothing and growing it to over 50,000 cases sold worldwide in 5 years. But the one thing that always bothered me was the massive disconnect between the producer and the consumer. In the US we have a 3-tier system of distribution that was created after prohibition (although there are a handful of control states in the US... where the state decides what wines you should be allowed to drink... but that's a whole other conversation). So the winery sells to an importer... who brings the wine into the US. Then it goes to a distributor/wholesaler licensed in each state they do business.... then to a retailer/restaurant... and then, FINALLY, it gets to the consumer. That's 3 additional layers of people to get through before the wine even reaches the end consumer... have you ever played the game of Operator?? There is no way that the story about the wines makes it unscathed past so much red tape. And from the flip side, how is the winery supposed to get accurate feedback about the wines when the message will clearly get garbled on its way back. Plus, there are so many people down the line that have to decide the wine is right... otherwise the juice never comes to market. Now add to that the fact that all these people along the way need to get paid in order to sell your wines; how much of that $15 wine do you think actually goes to the winery? Exactly... not much. Compounding the problem is the host of games that have to be played in order to get your wine on the shelf. We at MYTHIC strive to bridge that gap between producer and consumer. Because of my tight relationship with the winery, I am a direct extension of MYTHIC... and I import the wines myself... even distribute in the state of Connecticut. And we seek out specialty regional distributors around the rest of the country that share the vision, passion and excitement that we have for the brand... we are truly a family in every sense of the word (ok, maybe not every sense). Hand crafted wines of uncompromising quality at a fair price. Bernie is free to make the best wines he can, unencumbered by management. Marcelo runs a tight ship at the winery... making sure Bernie has everything he needs, Martin & Nico put together all the marketing materials, scores/reviews, attend fairs tirelessly all over the world in order to get the word out and ultimately export MYTHIC, and Keith brings these remarkable handcrafted wines in to the US. We are all from different walks of life, but were ultimately brought together to share our common passion for sharing a great bottle of wine with friends and family. We hope you agree, and welcome you to join the MYTHIC family." - Keith Palmer