Issue Winter 12
Wine connoisseurs may have an aroma of the hoity-toity, but a deep understanding of and appreciation for alcohol is apparent in their aftertaste. Stefanelli Distributing, a supplier of a variety of wine and other alcoholic beverages and products, operates in the true spirit of connoisseurship. Stefanelli Distributing is located in Fresno County, nestled in California’s Central Valley. It stocks domestic and imported wine, beer and spirits and delivers them to the four California counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare.
Selling alcohol is an easy feat for a state that produces approximately 90 percent of the nation’s wine. However, establishing a profitable distributing organization that does justice to California’s rich history and the community of Central Valley is an achievement of a different standing. Because of Stefanelli Distributing’s many accomplishments in the field, it is easy to see why many clink their glasses to the company’s noteworthy success.
Stefanelli Distributing respects and understands the soil in which the company has long been rooted. With its 60th anniversary having taken place in 2011, Stefanelli Distributing has a rich history in California. Since its establishment in 1951, the company has been family owned and operated. Today, Stefanelli’s has a close-knit family of approximately 50 employees.
Family is vital to both Stefanelli Distributing and E. & J. Gallo Wine. Stefanelli was one of the first distributors of E. & J. Gallo Wine, which is the largest exporter of California wine and the biggest family owned winery in the world today and the second-largest winery by volume.
The organization’s clientele include restaurants, pubs, lounges, clubs, liquor stores, markets and specialty shops. The general public is also able to purchase Stefanelli’s alcohol by the case.
Not only does Stefanelli Distributing provide top-tier alcoholic beverages to its clients, but it is also dedicated to helping its customers improve their own institutions. “Cooking techniques are as important as the seasonings and weight of the product when pairing food with wine,” Stefanelli Distributing Vice President of Operations and Sales Carl Rana wrote in a restaurant review. Through seminars on issues including food and wine pairing, wine list development and beer and microbrewing strategies, Stefanelli Distributing helps nurture and progress California’s alcohol industry.
On the company’s website can be found several detailed reviews of local restaurants and eateries with Rana’s well-thought-out food and wine combinations. It’s easy to see that this distributing company is not only invested in its own success, but in the advancement of the region.
The Stefanelli family and employees are devoted to their community. They participate in numerous volunteering organizations including Big Brothers and Sisters as well as charities for the Children’s Hospital.
Know Your Stuff
More than 70 percent of the state’s wine grapes are grown in California’s Central Valley. This region is also the strategically positioned home of Stefanelli Distributing. Fresno is a sublime spot for an alcoholic beverage distribution company if it can truthfully say that it knows more than its wine-loving neighbors.
The alcohol business is in the blood of the Stefanelli family and the distributing company’s employees. Rana knows how to flaunt his feathers in this competitive industry. “Tim Murphy was the pioneer in the developing of Sauvignon Blanc in Alexander Valley,” Rana said. “This wine has a substantial citrus and tropical flavor with a smidgeon of tangerine.”
Rana loves sharing via the Stefanelli website the knowledge he’s acquired with the company’s clients and other alcohol devotees. “I come from the school of imbibe that says aged white wines are like four-leafed clovers,” said Rana. “They are out there but you have to look.” It’s no secret that Rana, along with the rest of the Stefanelli staff, has a thirst for stocking Stefanelli’s shelves with top-notch alcohol.
Alcohol connoisseurship entails not only a love of the trade, but an understanding of its relationship to other businesses such as the restaurant industry. Rana demonstrates Stefanelli Distrib¬uting’s comprehension of its clientele in his restaurant reviews. “It is a pleasure to see a progressive-style wine selection that truly complements the food offerings and stirs the customer to their tastes,” said Rana about the Cracked Pepper Bistro Wine and Lounge.
Stefanelli Distributing lives up to the competitive Central Valley locality. Alcohol distributors in the region such as Stefanelli’s help perpetuate Cali¬fornia’s wineries because they have a genuine understanding of the industry as well as the community. With Stefanelli Distributing’s expanding knowledge and assortment of beverages, and a desire to share it, the company plans to expand southwest.
Stefanelli Distributing shares the passion behind its success along with a “wish that you eat and drink healthy, locally and with friends you love,” Rana said. “For all of you that live just a few hours from Fresno, please don’t just come to visit, come to live it.”