Airing between regular episodes of the VinePair Podcast, “Next Round” explores the ideas and innovations that are helping drinks businesses adapt in a time of unprecedented change. As the coronavirus crisis continues and new challenges arise, VP Pro is in your corner, supporting the drinks community for all the rounds to come. If you have a story or perspective to share, email us at [email protected]

In this “Next Round,” VinePair CEO Adam Teeter speaks with Greg Doody, president and CEO of Vineyard Brands, a fine-wine importer based in Birmingham, Ala. The Vineyard Brands’ diverse portfolio includes European wines as well as selections from Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

Vineyard Brands was founded by Robert “Bob” Hass in 1971, starting on the Haas family farm in Chester, Vt. The business later moved to Birmingham, where it has been employee-owned since the late 1990s. Prior to founding Vineyard Brands, Bob and his father founded an import business in New York City. It is these longstanding relationships with wineries — which Doody says date back to just after Prohibition — that have allowed Vineyard Brands to sustain its global reach.

Doody discusses the company’s enduring ability to educate distributors through its sales efforts, with representatives working across all 50 states. He also explains the benefits of being an employee-owned company, and why Vineyard Brands is particularly suited to working exclusively with family-owned wine brands.

As consumers continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and reopening stages across the country, Doody says he has seen a shift from comfort brands toward increasingly adventurous wine preferences, as individuals get fatigued by continually drinking the same choices. Along this sentiment, Doody believes that if businesses safely reopen, celebratory wine categories such as Champagne will make comebacks in the consumer market.

Listen in iTunes

Listen on Spotify

This story is a part of VP Pro, our free platform and newsletter for drinks industry professionals, covering wine, beer, liquor, and beyond. Sign up for VP Pro now!