The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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Page 137 of 140

april 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  137 HOT SHOT E ach month we team up with the beverage industry recruiting & staffing experts at BevForce and chat with one of their Movers & Shakers to get a behind-the-scenes insight on the job search process, the beverage industry's most innovative companies and the executives who drive them. This month, we chat- ted with Daniel Hartenstein, who was recently named National Wine Portfolio Manager, Achaval-Ferrer at Stoli Group USA. He had been Northeast Division Manager at The Hess Collection Winery. How would you define Achaval- Ferrer (SPI Group)'s culture and what attracted you to it? There were two things that really sold me: First, the focus on quality of the products and second, the company culture being built here. We have such a strong commitment to building the right sort of culture at Stoli Group USA. This was very important to me— they clearly understand what makes a company strong and productive: having a team mentality, speaking your mind, being fearless, having fun and maintaining a start-up mentality. What are your plans to further develop the business over the next year? I plan to continue to establish Achaval-Ferrer as the Iconic wines of Argentina—we have the most acclaimed, highest regarded/rated wines in our category. I want to spread the word about these exceptional wines! I want to work together with our restaurant and trade partners to set up events and wine lists to showcase these iconic wines. What was the best career advice you've ever been given and who gave it to you? Steve Olson gave me this advice over 15 years ago and I have tried to follow it ever since: Be true to who you are, don't focus on where you'll be later or compromise what you are doing. What you do reflects on you more than anyone else. What advice would you give to jobseekers looking for their next role? • Focus on doing the best with what you are doing now and let that take you to the next step. • Look for something that will chal- lenge you on a new level and gives you the ability to learn new skills. • Excel in your current role even if you have decided to move on . . . how you finish with your previous company can be as important as whatever you are doing next. What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned from mentors in the industry? • Wine is just fermented grape juice in a bottle—don't take it too seri- ously. Make drinking and teaching about wine fun and enjoyable—not intimidating. • The average consumers don't really know that much about technical wine terms, so make everything clear to them in terms that they do understand. If you didn't work in the bever- age industry, what would you be doing? I think that I'd be a teacher—my parents were both teachers and I love both teaching and learning. I think that it was this passion to learn that got me involved in the wine business in the first place—I wanted to learn more! If you weren't drinking a glass of wine, you would be sipping on… A Stoli Elit Martini or a Moscow Mule. Once upon a time, I was the Beverage Director at the Russian Tea Room in NYC and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for beautifully crafted Russian vodka. Daniel Hartenstein NATIONAL WINE PORTFOLIO MANAGER, ACHAVAL-FERRER, STOLI GROUP USA The wines Daniel Hartenstein oversees as the National Wine Portfolio Manager, Achaval-Ferrer at Stoli Group USA. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG

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