When we look for wines to import, at Broadbent Selections Inc., we have a few absolutes. First and foremost, the wine must be the very best of its type. It’s not enough for a wine to please us; its quality and value must bowl us over. It’s been said that the difference between a good meal and a great meal is that, with the former, you finish the meal thinking, “The food was good”. With a great meal however, you think, “Life is good”. And that’s precisely what we we look for, and what we’re proud to represent; wines that gratify not just the palate, but the soul. Yet, we do more than represent wine. We also represent the people and passion behind those wines, which is why, since we were founded in 1996, our focus has always been on family-owned wineries-on places with personality and stories, and on wines that come from the heart. Quality and character: those are absolutes. We’re extremely proud of both the wines we represent at Broadbent Selections and the great people behind them.
In 1996 Broadbent Selections, Inc. was established by Bartholomew Broadbent in San Francisco to import some of the finest wines from all over the world. He later established Broadbent Wines Limited, a European company based in Dublin, to handle sales of proprietary brands in Europe and around the world. The brands produced by Broadbent include his eponymous Vinho Verde, Dao, Douro, Ilha da Madeira, Madeira and Port from Portugal and Gruner Veltliner in Austria. Additionally, he owns The Curator in South Africa and Auctioneer in Napa Valley. He was previously the 50% partner of a winery in China called Dragon’s Hollow. Broadbent winery was nominated one of the Top 100 Wineries of 2020 by Wine&Spirits.
Broadbent Selections has the exclusive US distribution rights for wineries making wines and spirits in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, England, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, USA and Wales. Such iconic brands as Tyrrell’s, Chateau Musar, Spy Valley and Domaine Georges Vernay have earned his company the reputation of being one of America’s finest importers. Broadbent Selections was twice nominated Importer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast [2005 and 2019] and once named a 100 fastest growing company by Dun & Bradstreet in Entrepreneur magazine.
Raised in the English wine trade under a formal apprenticeship to his legendary father, Michael Broadbent MW [Director of Christie’s and prolific wine author], Bartholomew has worked in Australia, France, Canada and the UK. He moved to America to start a company for the Symington family in Portugal, which he ran for ten years, and is credited for leading the growth of Port consumption in North America. In 1989 he was responsible for the post-Prohibition re-introduction of Madeira to America.
Bartholomew was named one of the “fifty most influential people in the wine world” by Decanter Magazine (1997) and IntoWine.com ranked him 48th in the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S Wine Industry” in 2013. Today, he has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter.
He is a familiar face on the wine speaker circuit, regularly lecturing at all the major wine festivals. He was the Reserve Tasting Director at the Food&Wine Classic in Aspen for 25 years. As a guest lecturer he has travelled the world with Viking, Cunard [QM2 and QEII], Crystal, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas. He was the Wine Guy for KFOG radio in San Francisco and he is the host of Wine Wednesdays on Viking TV.
He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. He goes by the nickname of Bollew.
MICHAEL BROADBENT MW [1927-2020]
The late Michael Broadbent was not directly involved with Broadbent Selections but he was an enthusiastic supporter. Other than encouragement and pride, his main contribution to Broadbent Selections was when his son, Bartholomew, sent Michael and his mother, Daphne, to the island of Madeira to help develop the blends for Broadbent Madeira.
In 1960, Michael became the 24th Master of Wine. He trained as an architect, but at age 25 changed his career to enter the wine trade. He started with Layton’s, then Saccone and Speed before becoming the National Sales Director for Harvey’s of Bristol. In 1966 he established the Wine Department at Christie’s. As an auctioneer he pioneered wine sales in Amsterdam, Geneva, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and the United States, including founding the Napa Valley Wine Auction with Robert Mondavi.
Receiving France’s second highest honor, Chevalier dans L’Order National du Merite from the French Government, his other awards are too numerous to list but they include Decanter’s ‘Man of the Year’ and Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award. He held many important and prestigious positions during his career, including being the first Hon President of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust [WSET], President of The International Wine and Food Society, Chairman of The Institute of Masters of Wine, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, Chairman of The Wine & Spirit Trades Benevolent Society, Wine Consultant for British Airways and for Cunard.
He was a columnist for six publications, including writing 433 consecutive monthly columns for Decanter magazine. He wrote 14 books and contributed chapters to many others. His first book, Wine Tasting, has been continuously in print since 1968, translated into 8 languages. The Great Vintage Wine Book was the first ever book published with tasting notes. He won 16 major literary awards including a James Beard award for Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine.
He was twice married. In 1954 to Daphne until her death [1931-2015] and then to Dr. Valerie Smallwood in 2019. In addition to his son, Bartholomew, he has an older daughter, Emma, The Lady Arbuthnot DBE, a High Court Judge in the UK. Michael died from natural causes in 2020 at the age of 92.