Dalla Terra Winery Direct is a national agent and direct importer of a small and select group of leading, family-owned wineries and spirits producers in Italy. Dalla Terra means “from the earth” in Italian, and the estates we represent are terroir-driven icons not only of each province or region, but of Italy as a whole. Italian-focused from the very beginning, at Dalla Terra we pioneered a unique approach to bringing wines from Italy to the U.S. market.
Dalla Terra was founded in 1990 by Brian Larky, who had developed a deep interest in wine more than a decade earlier and chose to get a degree in fermentation sciences from the University of California at Davis. He initially followed the winemaking path, with production jobs at Napa Valley wineries such as Far Niente and Domaine Chandon. Broadening his horizons, in 1985, Brian took a harvest job in Italy that stretched into five years working as a winemaker for the sparkling wine producer Ca’ del Bosco in Lombardy’s Franciacorta region. At that point, his focus shifted from being a winemaker to becoming an importer of Italian wines.
Brian developed an innovative approach with the Winery Direct model, where the goal was to minimize the footprint of the importer. The new company, Dalla Terra Winery Direct, was designed from the start to serve more as a facilitator for wines moving straight from Italian wineries to U.S. distributors rather than as a separate tier of its own. To make this idea work, Brian and his fledgling company needed two things: a cadre of excellent Italian wineries that shared the same vision of direct importation, and a sales team in the U.S. who were as devoted as he was to Italian wine and the direct import concept. If successful, this model would ultimately remove the import bottleneck and reduce the price of wines to consumers.
In 2020, Dalla Terra added spirits to its portfolio of Italian-exclusive offerings, with a focus on partnering with authentic and craft distillers making quintessentially Italian spirits.
What is the Dalla Terra Winery Direct® Model?
Dalla Terra (of the earth in Italian) Winery Direct is the national agent of a curated portfolio of some of Italy's finest wines and spirits. Dalla Terra Winery Direct provides all the services of a traditional national importer in the most transparent and cost-effective manner. The Winery Direct model is economical and consumer friendly, putting high-quality wines and spirits on American's tables at affordable prices. This efficient method of representing and marketing, which bypasses the high mark-ups of the traditional national importer in the three-tier system, allows our distributors to buy directly (Winery Direct) from the producers. This allows our wines and spirits to cost less than those of comparable quality.
Our model is fully aligned with our producers' and distributors' objectives, unlike the traditional model, thus insuring harmony and longevity in our relationships.
“Sustainable” contains some broadly stated objectives which are economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound winegrowing practices. This voluntary environmental stewardship optimizes the ecological stability of a vineyard, its productivity, and quality by enhancing soil health and reducing the use of harmful pesticides.
ORGANIC VINEYARDS & WINE
Certified “organic wine” in Italy is defined as “a wine made from organically grown grapes.” No chemicals are used in the vineyard—no chemical fertilizers, weed killers or insecticides. Only elemental sulfur is allowed, which is organic itself and is used to prevent powdery mildew in the fields. In the cellar “organic” suggests minimal processing and no use of chemical additives. Organic winemakers pay particular attention to three factors: the use of yeast, the filtration/fining method, and the minimal use of sulfur dioxide.
Biodynamic is the method of farming first promoted by Austrian scientist, metaphysician and Waldorf School founder Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Biodynamics considers the energy and interrelationships of the entire vineyard area as well as its connection to the earth, the sun, moon, planets and seasons. The soil’s health is paramount and only homeopathic solutions are utilized to energize the soil’s vitality and planetary connections.