When you think of a winery you think of lush green vineyards with row after row of crisp tasty abundance. You dream of barrel after barrel of wine stacked on top of one another holding what certainly tastes like heaven. You envision bottles of red and white filled with the exquisite vintage tastes of the past. But you don’t think of dogs, do you? Animal Fair has supplied you with four wineries and an importer that will give you a taste of their best Merlot and a look at their cast of canine connoisseurs.
Vine Street Imports
Vine Street Imports (VSI) is an importer and distributor of fine, rare and artisan wines from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Washington State and California. Spearheaded by CEO Ronnie Sanders, VSI focuses on sourcing and debuting the most exciting brands and trends from emerging winemakers and regions. VSI wines are sold wholesale to distributors nationwide, and directly to retailers in prime markets through an internal sales force.
The Lost Highway Project, owned and trademarked by Vine Street Imports, is a fresh and progressive concept in winemaking. The Lost Highway Project collaborates with the finest winemakers from around the world to create an original and exclusive bottle for their new wine creations. Their most anticipated debut was the winter 2004-2005 release of Stella’s Garden. The art featured on the label of Stella’s Garden is 100% Shiraz, produced by Two Hands.
Stella, the three-year-old Neopolitan Mastiff, featured on the Stella’s Garden bottle is owned by CEO of VSI, Ronnie Sanders. Besides having her mug on the wine bottles. Stella is the official office “Couch Potato”. Sanders also has another dog named Chimay, aka “The Chooch,” a five-year-old Bouvier des Flandres.
Although both dogs were purchased from reputable breeders, Stella actually chose Ronnie. “There is nothing cuter than a wrinkly Neo puppy,” says Sanders. Chimay was chosen by an ex-girlfriend who was allergic to every dog except the Bouvier.
VSI has a 10,000 square foot warehouse and the dogs have the run of the place. “They love coming to work,” says Sanders. Other than keeping Sanders company at VSI the dogs don’t impact their business, but they definitely keep the UPS and Federal Express delivery guys on their toes when bringing packages to the office. “The dogs are actually harmless, but they don’t look it or sound it from the outside,” says Sanders. VSI doesn’t get many customers in their offices, but when they do, they usually love the dogs. Sanders says, “There is an old saying in the wine business: Never trust a winemaker that does not have a dog.”
Stella’s favorite wine, of course, is Stella’s Garden Shiraz and in the summertime she likes Charles Audoin Marsannay Rose from Burgundy. Additionally, her favorite year is the 2000 Bordeaux. Stella loves to eat breakfast burritos and greenies, Chimay enjoys marble rye bagels.
Stella’s Garden, along with other VSI imported wines, are available in Pennsylvania state stores, and select fine restaurants including the famed Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, Charlie Trotters in Chicago, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Herbfarm in Seattle, Del Frisco’s in New York City and many others.
Vine Street Imports
Arsenal Business Center – Building No.: 124
5301 Tacony Street
P.O. Box 228
Philadelphia, PA 19137