Classic Imports

Classic Imports is the national sales and marketing arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of Martignetti Companies, the eighth largest wine and spirits wholesaler in the United States. 

Established in 1908, Martignetti operates in Massachusetts as United Liquors, Carolina Wine Company, Classic Wine Imports, and Commonwealth Wine & Spirits, and in other New England states as Martignetti Companies of Maine / New Hampshire / Vermont, and through a joint venture in Rhode Island with Rhode Island Distributing Company. As a full line distributor for many of the top tier suppliers in the industry, the company understands the environment in which it competes and is uniquely qualified to develop new and niche products in all categories of the industry. At United, for example, the company employs a 40 person team, the Excel Division, servicing over 4,000 on premise accounts statewide. 

Classic Imports, a separate entity from the aforementioned selling division, Classic Wine Imports—has been on an incredible growth curve. Through a distributor network, now in 35 states, sales revenues have advanced by at least 25% per year in each of the past three years. In 2014, specifically, sales have increased by over 35% from the previous year.  Classic is the exclusive U.S. importer for Gordon & MacPhail, Single Malt Specialists, the world's leading independent bottler since 1895. Gordon & MacPhail owns The Benromach Distillery, the smallest working distillery in Scotland's Speyside region. Its Benromach 10 Year Old was just named ‘Best from Speyside’ in the class of all single malts 12 years and under in the April 2014 edition of Whisky Magazine. In 2013, Classic added Brenne French Single Malt Whisky to its portfolio. This brand, owned by Allison Patel, has received overwhelming response and acclaim, including 93 Points in Wine Enthusiast.

Classic is managed by Gary Keimach, Senior Vice President. In the past two years, the company has added four, full-time, Brand Ambassadors positioned across the country. The Brand Ambassadors work in the trade with distributor sales representatives, make key account calls on their own, conduct tasting events and staff seminars, as well as working collaboratively with distributor management to develop targeted trade programs aimed at maximizing distribution and sales. The company believes in this approach of employing its own dedicated resources in lieu of brokers or agents. Here is a sample of the feedback we get from our distributors:

Yesterday, I had a Scotch seminar I set up with Exit 9 and Chris Riesbeck, WOW!  As we all know I am not much of a spirits guy, but this was a real eye opener. We had to have multiple sessions because of the great customer turnout. We had 67 attend the event; it was standing room only for each session, not too bad for a Tuesday night in April.  We sold out of all the G&M product we had on the shelf but we also took a few preorders for other items including new placements; also set up a staff tasting for an upcoming barrel purchase.  We also have a tentative date in September for a Scotch dinner at Lake Ridge.  If we as a team are not utilizing Chris for events like this and whiskey dinners it’s a disservice to ourselves.  Chris brings a huge amount of knowledge not only about his product but the whole scotch and whiskey category. He did a great job hosting the event and not just sharing information but more importantly getting people to buy!

By booking this event last night I just gave myself a raise!

As a distributor locally and an importer / brand agent nationally, Classic is able to leverage Martignetti’s size and strength to fully support the business; carrying the proper inventory at its Massachusetts warehouse to fulfill distributor orders; maintain receivables and compliance function; and operate a full service graphic arts department which develops and produces sales brochures, shelf talkers, case cards, tasting notes, and specialty items. And, of course, the aforementioned staff; on the street everyday with samples in the accounts which are making the craft category ‘go’.

Most importantly, Classic has the expertise, professionalism, and passion to represent and grow the finest spirits in terms of quality and craft in each of the markets in which it competes. 

Contact: Gary Keimach; 781-352-6241;