About Us : The Quaranvino Story & Team
Our Story : How Quaranvino Began..
Quaranvino online wine tasting events were launched from our HQ in Munich, Germany at the beginning of the Covid 19 crisis on March 28th 2020 as a fun way of entertaining wine-lovers and supporting wine producers.
I'd been organising events for expat circles for years, first when I lived in Belgium and then when I moved to Munich in 2013. It was an easy way for me to meet people and I always loved being behind the scenes, "making it happen". I've been in wine since 2004 and in 2010 launched my own agency organising trade events for consortiums and groups of wine producers. When a friendly producer was passing through Munich, I'd organise a small wine-makers dinner for my wine-loving friends where we'd eat, drink and enjoy a fun evening hearing about the stories behind the labels.
I organised my last in-person event on March 10th 2020, the day Italy went into lockdown and just a couple of days later I started working on the first Quaranvino online wine-makers dinner. I wanted to bring wine lovers together in that moment of darkness and give the wine producers I knew and loved, the chance to still share their stories and passion for their craft.
Our first session was attended by almost 40 households from across Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. Friends brought in friends, who brought in friends, and Quaranvino events became a lifeline in that time. They were a way for us to stay connected in that moment when lockdown was new. Friendships grew, bonds were formed, and the wine makers who hosted our dinners loved the format. This was something I realised could stay even when lockdown was over.
After those first events with Italian wineries, I reached out to South African wineries as they were going through a particularly difficult time. Alcohol bans meant that they were no longer able to sell wine to their domestic market and were totally dependent on exports.
Since then we've hosted dinners with producers in Germany, Lebanon and Portugal. Our events also became ways to bring families, friends, team-mates and colleagues together.
The Sofa Effect..
When people are in their own setting they are more relaxed, more open and more themselves. I call this the "sofa effect", its what makes online events so totally different than in-person events. To some extent, participants are more involved than they would be in an in-person event.
Since that first event in March 2020, we've been laughing, learning and having fun with wine regularly. We've travelled the world, discovered wines we never would have and learnt so much about wine, all from our sofas or dining tables.
Each dinner date is different : nothing is scripted or rehearsed, it's natural, relaxed and genuine. Quaranvino it's a different experience of wine but is the essence of what wine is about : sharing an enjoyable moment with people, enjoying food and stories and great company...
Here's more about me and my team...
Faye Cardwell - Founder
I have been working with Italian wineries since 2004 when I started a job organising wine exhibitions in Asia whilst living in Verona, Italy. Soon after I got the wine bug, studied my Italian Sommelier certification (AIS) and WSET levels 2 and 3, and went from being almost tea-total to converted wine-lover.
I'm from the north of England (Yorkshire!), lived in Italy for 10 years, Belgium for 2 and have called Munich home since 2013. I never says "no" to champagne and believe every wine is perfect with the right company, food and setting.
Irene de Vette - Quaranvino Moderator & Get Comfy with Wine
Irene de Vette is a writer, editor and sommelier based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Just like Faye’s, Irene’s journey into wine started in Italy. Living in Rome, she was writing about the country’s food and culture, so wine inevitably became a love affair.
Irene completed the sommelier course at the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS), and continues writing about wine culture around the world. She has published several (cook)books, including a book on Dutch wine,Discovering Dutch Wine (2015). Irene moderates some of our online wine-makers dinners and writes regularly for our wine blog.
Fred Nijhuis - Host Quaranvino Three of a Kind & Corporate Events
Fred has been writing about wine for over 25 years and is one of the Netherland's leading independent wine experts and journalists.
He regularly hosts workshops, masterclasses and seminars on wines from all across the globe although his true passion and specialisation lies in Italian wines.
Fred joined the Quaranvino team in March 2021, to host online corporate and group events as well as the new Three of a Kind format.
The rest of our team..
Our events are something different because of the wine-makers that host them and the logistics partners we work with to be able to ship our wine tasting packages. They are make Quaranvino possible.