Thanks for visiting our new website! We hope the pictures and descriptions within make you thirsty. Ocean South Imports is essentially a new(ish) company. While founded in Wilmington, NC in 1998 by Lee Scanlon of the popular End of the Vine label, the business was purchased by Steve Sommerville in May of 2018 and then merged with Moira Smullen's Rabelais Wines in early 2019. The company has undergone a renewed focus on portfolio diversification.
It all started back in 1999 when Steve was a young waiter in Illinois. He ended up winning a trip to Italy as a Wine Ambassador and fell in love with wine, especially Italian wines. While working for 20 years in the insurance industry, Steve always had in mind to get back into the wine and restaurant business. And then on a return trip to Italy with his lovely wife, they turned off the GPS one day and simply wandered the remote villages in Toscana to the breathtakingly gorgeous regions surrounding Lago di Garda. Stopping in on local, family-owned wineries along the way, his passion for wine was reawakened.
A stunning Vinho Verde Rosè purchased at a small wine shop that he and his wife had enjoyed recently led Steve to Ocean South Imports and he began selling for them part-time while still holding down the insurance business. The business went up for sale a year later and he rolled the dice and went for it.
During the course of business, Steve met Moira Smullen, a like-minded distributor/importer of fine wines with unparalleled passion and enthusiasm for great wine. Steve and Moira decided to merge their small companies so Steve could focus on the distribution aspect, and Moira the importing piece. Moira lives part of the year in North Carolina, and the other part in the Loire Valley (Chinon) where she travels Europe in search of amazing wines to bring back home and share.
The new version of Ocean South Imports remains true to its predecessor's focus on high-quality, interesting wines that express their terroir and undergo minimal manipulation. Ocean South is proud to work with wineries and importers who are exemplary when representing quality and promoting strong integrity and ethics.
Among the countries represented in Ocean South's portfolio are: Mexico, Slovenia, France, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Argentina, New Zealand, Austria, and the United States of America.
Please peruse the portfolio and feel free to contact any one of the Ocean South Imports sales representatives in your area. Ocean South prides itself with having a friendly, honest, dependable, and knowledgeable sales force who can guide you through the portfolio.