A family run business in Glasnevin is dedicated to introducing the produce of small European wine producers to our restaurants, wine bars and our living rooms.
Honest2Goodness Wines is run by brother and sister team Colm and Brid Carter. The wine sourcing and distributing business is a sister company to the Honest2Goodness weekly market which takes place in Dublin Commercial Estate in Glasnevin every Saturday from 9.30am to 4pm.
Colm head up the wines division while Brid has the task of running the market. Both travel frequently to visit small, indigenous wineries in Europe, mainly Italy, Spain, France and Germany. A recent visit to Austria will result in a new addition to their portfolio in the near future.
“The fundamental principle I believe in is that good and great wines are only made by individuals who have a belief in their land, their indigenous varieties and a constant thirst for making quality wines. We go to Trade Fairs but mostly try to visit producers when sourcing so we learn about the region and its intricacies and also get to see the way they work the vineyards and wineries with our own eyes” says Colm.
“The range has been built strictly along these lines and almost 4 years on and now importing from 35-40 wineries across Europe, the hard work is starting to pay off. We work with people who take immense care and pride in their wines, and who are small producers in their regions. Quite often our suppliers are family owned operations where the one person works the vineyard through the year, only getting extra help at harvest time and makes the wine themselves. The vineyard work is meticulous; one producer we work with in Germany farms only 10 hectares (around 25 acres) but its spread over 100 plots mostly on 70 degree slopes! Due to the nature of this small production and high quality these wines never end up on the shelves of the high street multiples. Although only a small number of our wines are classified as organic, we only choose wines from suppliers who farm with respect for the environment and work along these principles. We also look for producers who use indigenous yeasts and low yielding old vines as they produce wines with more character.
An example is Luigi Valori in Abruzzo whose vines produce one bottle per vine (even for entry level wines) whilst the vineyards next to him in the region can produce up to 10 bottles per vine.
10 years ago, Brid & Colm first discussed the idea of creating a food and wine business. Their first venture, in 2007 resulted in The Tasting Room, which was launched as a Food & Wine Educational Business.
However, the recession changed everything for the Carters and as corporate business dried up they took another route –creating a wholesale wine business and indoor Farmers Market called Honest2Goodness with friends Paul and Veronica O’Hara.
The market was formally opened in November 2009 but from the outset, wine was an integral part of the offering.
That passion has now developed into a successful wine business for the pair, who have since taken over the entire running of the business from the O’Hara’s. The wines they source now sell to top Irish restaurants, such as the award-winning Aniar in Galway, The Tannery, as well as Fallon&Byrne, Thyme Restaurant in Athlone, Terra Madre in Dublin. They also wholesale their wines to independent wines shops in the Greater Dublin area and customers can also buy direct on the Honest2Goodness website.
For Colm the venture is worlds away from his time on the corporate jungle, selling Electronic Components and Systems across Europe for an American Corporation. He has since extended his knowledge of the wine area with a number of Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) exams, which culminated in a WSET Diploma in 2007.
Brid has an abiding passion for good food, and food provenance, so helping the sourcing of wines is a natural extension of that while alsomanaging the busy farmers market.
Both are avid tweeters and can be found here @brid_h2g and @colm_h2g ready to answer any wine dilemmas.
For more information visit www.honest2goodness.ie