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Moravian wines on California market

The story of Veronika Wills, who came from the family winery Spěvák from South Moravia, is an example and inspiration that top Czech products made from quality ingredients can succeed at a demanding Californian consumer. As a student at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Veronika often went to Moravia to help in the vineyard.  Later on, microbiology study brought her to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she met her husband, Deon, a United States citizen. Eventually, he convinced the Spěvák family that quality Moravian wines belong on the American market.

As early as 2006, Veronika and Deon began researching the market and finding distributors for Spěvák wine, but starting a family and a professional career put their efforts on the sidelines. However, this changed by visiting Veronika's parents at Christmas 2019 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where the family settled. Veronika's father, František Spěvák, organized several guided tastings for their American friends during his stay in Cape Cod to research the taste buds of a typical American wine lover. After returning to Moravia, he prepared three special wine coupage, each with about 1,000 bottles, so that they differed from the specific offer and at the same time reached out to an American customer. With the family's support in the Czech Republic, Veronika and her husband decided to establish Wills International, LLC to import and distribute quality Moravian wines to the USA. Paradoxically, thanks to the pandemic, Veronika and Deon had plenty of time to focus on all the proper steps involved in starting a business, including websites, social media, label design, marketing strategy development, and preparation of all technical information.

Meanwhile, Veronika completed WSET (The Wine & Spirit Education) study and received a certificate. She passed the final exam precisely when the first delivery of Czech unique coupage wines arrived in the United States. It turned out that her father was right - a taste of all three wines reached out to American and Czech taste buds.  These are selling under the Moravian White, Moravian Rosé, and Moravian Red brands by Spěvák Winery and deserve to gain their place in the American market. For Moravian Chardonnay, the purity of the wine and the primary characteristics are surprising, as Winery Spěvák uses reductive winemaking (i.e., without access to oxygen), which preserve the fresh fruit character of their wines, resulting in a lighter, newer, fruitier style that's typically paler in color. These processes avoid the use of barrels, thereby differing from mainstream  Chardonnay production in the USA. You can read more about these and other wines at https://www.willsinternational.com/our-wines/.

This summer, Veronika organized a private tasting for friends and Czech compatriots in the mecca of winemaking in Southern California, Temecula. At that time, she was already preparing the second line of Moravian wines from the Spěvák Winery - Hibernal, Muscari's, and Pineapple wine. And thanks to this opportunity, she met her compatriot and importer of Czech beer Mr. Jiří Kos from the American Suppliers Group, who has been considering importing Czech wine to California for a long time. The wines fascinated Jiří, and thanks to his experience with alcohol distribution, he was able to transport them to California quickly and enable them to be sold in the run-up to Christmas. The e-shop is currently in preparation. Although the business is just beginning, Veronika and Jiří believe that they will build distribution networks to other states on the West coast of the USA. Veronika and Deon and their whole family see the import of Spěvák wine to raise awareness of the Czech Republic in the USA and promote the world wines that come from a country in the heart of Europe. Wines from Bohemia and Moravia are high quality, refreshing, and often come from aromatic varieties that are still little known on the American market. Sitting over a good glass of wine connects local communities and compatriots; it is a tradition worth passing on in the USA. And that's what Veronika and Deon are trying to do.