"I would wholeheartedly endorse anyone's decision to employ Deborah Gray to do business in the U.S. on their behalf. With Deborah's indisputable knowledge of the U.S. three tier distribution system, I never needed to wonder if all was under control. I honestly cannot make enough positive statements about our business relationship with Deborah and if the occasion were to present itself, I would not hesitate to rely on her again."

Jon W. Elkins
National Sales Director
Wine Creek Cellars
Healdsburg, CA

We are uniquely positioned to help you by tailoring our services to provide you with alternatives that work for your specific circumstance and your budget: a market overview, short-term consulting or work together on a long term project to position your brand or facilitate sales.  

Please call for rates. 

CONSULTING OPTIONS

Phone or Skype consulting on an hourly rate can offer the following benefits:


  • Potential importers can gain a basic understanding of a field they are considering entering, 
  • New importers can focus on specific questions that may already have arisen.
  • Foreign producers and brand owners (i.e. non-U.S.) gain an understanding of the market.
  • It is a cost-effective way to immediately begin to position yourself and your company or work through problems for best outcome.


Other services are available on a retainer or fee for service basis. 


Exporting to the U.S.

Are you a foreign vineyard or winery owner and feel it is time to start exploring your opportunities in the US as a first time exporter?
Does the prospect of finding the right importer seem daunting?
Have you already tried and discovered that not all importers are created equal, and you wished you'd known more before you committed time, money and energy to that particular one?
Are you having difficulty understanding the complexities of the US wine distribution market?
Do you have a sales team or someone on the ground in the US, but need a knowledgeable expert to handle the administrative responsibilities?

Whatever your situation, Bluestone Wine Solutions has the expertise and experience to assist you. Our assistance can prevent early, costly mistakes, allow you to retain more control over your brand and focus on the specific requirements of your individual situation.  

Some of these services include:


  • Guidance on exporting and how to navigate the U.S. market successfully
  • FDA registrations and Prior Notice
  • advice on price points, label design, branding
  • importer search and selection, based on carefully vetted criteria
  • wholesaler and retailer liaison
  • marketing and distribution assistance
  • personalized reports on the market, resources and recommendations


Through our extensive network of distributor relationships, years on the ground marketing wines and in-depth familiarity with the entire process from port to consumer, we are able to support your needs at every turn. 

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Importing in the U.S.

Are you thinking about becoming a wine importer?
Have you just started and realized that it is more complex and confusing than first imagined?
Do you need assistance with the first stages to get you over the hump?
Are you finding competition a bit overwhelming and having difficulty achieving distribution?
Do you need help in certain areas or certain states?
Is your portfolio incomplete and you would like to add certain countries, regions, styles or price points?

As a new importer, avoid the pitfalls of the early steep learning curve and let us help jump start your business, saving you both time and money in the process and allowing you to derive the most from your investment. 

As an established importer, build a strong portfolio that fits the current market model, or expand distribution.

Some of these services include:


  • Brand sourcing and portfolio planning
  • shipping and consolidation recommendations
  • coordination and clearance of samples 
  • pricing for a competitive market
  • which states are important and why
  • assistance with obtaining Federal Basic Permit
  • FDA registrations and Prior Notice
  • finding the right distributor for you
  • partnering with the distributor
  • what you can expect from them, what you can ask for
  • how to differentiate your wines from the competition
  • when a broker is important and what they do
  • wholesale and retail sales strategy
  • publications, ratings and reviews
  • POS marketing materials


                                                 

                                  
Workshops and Seminars

Deborah Gray has conducted seminars and workshops for consumers, retailers and distributors for many years. She has been the key note speaker at wine fairs and participated in seminars at several other venues, including the Telluride Wine Festival in Colorado and Epcot's International Wine & Food Festival in Florida. She has also trained sales people, judged at wine competitions and hosted numerous wine dinners. 

Deborah is now offering seminars to the winery owner/manager and importer. For a few hours or an entire day, a workshop will provide the necessary tools to sort through the maze of regulation, business decisions and wine marketing options in the exporting, importing and distribution process. It is an exciting and unique opportunity to learn more about your chosen field and the U.S. market. 


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