Importer of the Week: Klaus DeWinter
Company: Kaapwijn Import De Leeuw
Labels so far: Kovács Nimród Winery, Eger
– How did you become involved in wine business?
– I’m a sommelier by profession, I have had my own wine business for 10 years and for the moment I am the sales director for Kaapwijn Import de Leeuw in Belgium. We have more than 200 wine merchants customers all over the country.
– Kaapwijn Import portfolio is not the widest one in Europe, but still every important style and wine region is represented. Eastern Europe, however, is not included yet. Why?
– Most wine consumers in the BeNeLux (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) are classic wine drinkers: Spain, Italy and France. They drink wines from the countries they know from their vacations. Within the last 15 years New World countries like Argentina, Chile, Australia and South Africa took a part of the cake, because these wines are made of other grapes, in different style and they offer much more value for money. Customers in Belgium are well educated wine drinkers, they are more and more open for new terroirs, grapes and wine styles. Hungary fits in this story perfectly.
– You will soon start importing Hungarian wines from Kovács Nimród Winery. Why have you chosen this winery?
– If you ask 100 people about wines from Hungary, 99 will tell you all about Tokaj. There is not a big market for sweet wines in Belgium. We look for nice labels and an interesting story behind the wines & winery, a perfect terroir and wines/grapes/taste that we do not have in our portfolio. In March we are going to begin with Kovacs Nimród from Eger, a perfect start and we’re also looking for more wines from Piedmont in Italy.
– What did you drink last night?
– Tomorrow starts “Tournée Minerale” in Belgium – a mad plan from our government to make people not drink alcohol during the month February. So I started my own “Tournée Royal” to drink only quality wines and that’s why I started with a nice Furmint from 2014 from Kovacs Nimród. De-li-ci-ous!!!