MEET THE BUYER: Greg Martellotto, Big Hammer Wines, California, USA

Vinexpo Bordeaux: Hi Greg! Have you ever attended Vinexpo Bordeaux before? If so, how was the experience? 

Greg: Yes, I last attended Vinexpo in 2017, and have attended the New York events in the past as well. It’s always amazing to see people, taste fantastic wines, and learn at the interesting talks.

Vinexpo Bordeaux: Can you tell us about Big Hammer Wines?

Greg: Big Hammer wines was launched in 2009. The name comes from my last name, Martellotto, which means Big Hammer in Italian. We’re online only, which means lower overhead and lower prices. Our secret sauce is that we operate both an import/distribution and an online wine store, so we cut out the middlemen. Our 75,000+ customers love that we offer competitive pricing and a highly curated selection of wines. We only feature a few hundred wines from the thousands that we try every year. We have many great supplier relationships in Bordeaux and allocations of the best wines.

Vinexpo Bordeaux: Big Hammer Wines offers subscription wine clubs to consumers. Why do you think the wine club model is so popular in the United States? 

Greg: Most people don’t spend time traveling around the world tasting wines, following wine news, and reading up on critical reviews. We do. The most effective way to share our finds is through our subscription wine club. The customers benefit by being able receive regular shipments of the best wines we find that suit their taste preferences. Our most popular club is the BHW Real Wine Club where we feature wines that are lower in alcohol, sugar, and are chemical free. There are famous wineries producing wines that have 5-10 grams of residual sugar and consumers have no way to know what’s in the wine until they buy it. I think consumers are more savvy than ever and they want to know what’s in the wines they drink.

Vinexpo Bordeaux: What products will you be looking for at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2019?

Greg: I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the finished wines from the excellent 2016 vintage and some of the barrel samples from 2018. Of course, I’ll be looking closely at the organic wines. And, I always love exploring the international wines and the sake area.