Noun. négociant (plural negociants) (wine)
A wine merchant who purchases grapes, grape juice, or wine in bulk from vineyards, and bottles the wine for sale. Some of the very largest and most well regarded wine companies in the world are négociants, like Joseph Drouhin and Louis Jadot. At Mercantile we work with one small, family owned négociant, Nine North Wine Co, based in Napa, CA. Nine North specializes in Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec & Petite Sirah, from appellations in California like North Coast and Lodi. One of the owners at Nine North, Elijah Pfister suggests, “one of the benefits of being a négociant is your ability to source the very best grapes/wine. You’re not tied to a single source or vineyard so you can always opt for the best wine available.” Mercantile and our customers benefit from our partnerships with producers like Nine North and look forward to introducing folks to these wines. While Nine North sources from conventionally farmed vineyards, their wines are typically several price points below their peer wineries, a good introduction to specific varietals and regions for consumers on a budget. Our hope is that in time, we can suggest other wineries working organically, that may be a bit more expensive but well worth the money.
What Mercantile does
After nearly a decade, building up a substantial wine community, we felt the need to break the standard yet again, but this time within our defined profession of wine marketing and sales. Our team had developed a portfolio of family-owned and operated wineries that were making unique and tasty wines, sustainably and largely organic or biodynamic. They deserved more of our attention.
Further, we we're educating ourselves more about "regenerative organics". These farming practices include not just suspending herbicide and pesticide use, but adding back, building organic structures to create nutrient rich soil. Composting, cover crops, no/low till practices, polycultures of various crops, all working together to make better food while improving the environment. We realized in order to do our winemaking partners justice, we had to find a new way to develop awareness for their products. They are simply too busy farming, to be made to figure out marketing and sales too. And, customers increasingly demand to know more about where their food is coming from, the people behind it, the farming practices and the regions the wines are coming from.
We began laying the groundwork to launch Mercantile & Co, a new way to market wine in the US. We work directly with producers and import partners alike. Getting the full scoop so we can share it with our customers.
Our team of "Entrepreneurs" comes to the customer's home, puts on a tasting and tells the stories, grows awareness and translates what our farmers are doing in the vineyard directly. Sharing stories with family and friends. Our stories become your stories.
AND, to top it off, for every bottle purchased, a portion of the sale goes to a nonprofit cause. A wīn win for all.
Where we import from
We started importing wines to the US. While friends were "climbing the ladder" in the corporate world we turned our backs and followed our hearts. Always curious about food, unique varietals, history and culture, we scoured the globe, looking for producers who were authentic to tradition, sensitive to their ecological footprint, farming like their great-grandparents; often enough on hillsides, using minimal interventions.