Frank Dietrich and Zsuzsanna Molnar
The Blue Danube Wine Company was founded in 2002 to import fine Central European wines to the U.S. market. The company focuses on wines from Austria and Hungary that are fairly rare in the U.S.
Before founding the company, Frank Dietrich and Zsuzsanna Molnar, a husband and wife team worked for many years as executives in American computer and networking companies with responsibilities for developing the Central/Eastern European market. Born in Europe, speaking the languages, and understanding the business customs have provided tremendous assets to bring the love and appreciation of these unique wines and the people who make them to a broader market.
We are developing a presence and conducting tastings at wine shows and festivals, cultural events, and wine clubs. If you are interested, please contact us, we are happy to work with you to make our wines part of your event.
New York Sales Team
Sales Manager - New York
Tara represents Blue Danube Wine Co. in New York restaurants and wine shops. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Film Production and Finance in 2007, Tara was hired to work for Lionsgate Entertainment; but found herself more interested in wine books than scripts. During a year long European hiatus centered in Switzerland, Tara decided to move to New York and pursue her passion for wine. Since 2010, she has immersed herself in its study; and expects to complete the WSET diploma program in June 2017. Since December 2015, she has been the Beverage Director for Anfora and Dell’Anima in New York City’s West Village. Both programs focus on indigenous varietals, sustainable practices and feature smaller wineries. Her classical 'Old World' focused training coupled with a natural curiosity attracted her to Eastern European terroirs and she is now an advocate for this special place to the professional wine community in the greatest wine city on Earth.
New York Office Manager
Kristyn Robbins, Blue Danube NY Office Manager, joined the team in the summer of 2012. Professionally, she comes from a strong customer service background having worked for many years as a manager at a private health club in Southern California. Her transition into working with the Blue Danube wines was a natural one. Not only is she familiar with the wines of Blue Danube, she is also familiar with the winemakers. She has joined Stetson Robbins on his many trips to Eastern Europe exploring the regions, tasting the wines, and befriending the families that make them. Kristyn's top five loves outside of European Wine: the Adriatic coast, her 8 lb Yorkie, Yoga, training for and completing half marathons, and live music.
Northern California Sales Team
Sales Manager - San Francisco & Sacramento
At 15, Eric started washing dishes at The Ranch House in Ojai, California. After 4 years, multiple titles, and nightly brown bag tastings with a sommelier with over 30 years experience, he became enamored with the story, culture, and community of wine.
Moving to San Francisco in 2005 after two years living in Europe (Copenhagen & Rome), he found a job at Teatro Zinzanni, a 3-hour European cabaret meets Vaudevillian circus.
After 6 years he left the circus to start an internship with Crushpad, a pioneering San Francisco Custom Crush that makes over 700 small lot wines for people all over the world. In 2010, Eric worked harvest for a small Berkeley winery called “A Donkey and Goat,” and did everything from grape to bottle including making his own barrel. D&G was named one of the Top 5 Winemakers to Watch in 2011 by the SF Chronicle. Eric joined Blue Danube in the Spring of 2011.
Sales - San Francisco Bay Area
A native of Los Angeles, Carolyn has been eating, drinking, and working in the Bay Area for the past 10 years. As a student at UC Berkeley, she dipped her toes in the East Bay food and bar scene as a cook, caterer, and bartender. Following graduation, she briefly worked a 9-5 as a marketing and communications director for a non profit in San Francisco. After realizing that she missed the thrill of working nights and weekends, Carolyn joined the team at À Côté restaurant in Oakland, where she fell in love with the wines of Croatia, Hungary, and Georgia. This zeal for the wines of Eastern Europe led Carolyn to join Blue Danube in Spring 2017. When not extolling the virtues of dry Furmint, she can be found doing crossword puzzles, spoiling her cat, and planning elaborate dinner parties.
Sales - South Bay and Santa Cruz
While growing up in a vintners family in Hungary, Norbert accumulated a solid understanding of everyday life on the vineyard. Norbert passion for wine began in 1990 when his father purchased his first vineyard. Each year the vineyard expanded, and the family's commitment to winemaking deepened. In 2013 Norbert and his winemaker brother founded Gallay Kézműves Pince, the first family-owned boutique winery in the Bükk region of Hungary. To further develop his palate, he continued his education at the prestigious Napa Valley Wine Academy. Norbert holds the WSET Certified Level 2 with Distinction from the Wine and Spirits Trust (WSET) in London, England and he is currently in the Level 3 program. He comes to Blue Danube with experience in wine consulting at Beltramo’s Wine & Spirits. He is also a true Ambassador of Central European wines and culture. When Norbert is not researching and tasting wines he can be found somewhere in the Santa Cruz Mountains riding the hills with his sons.
Southern California Sales Team
Sales Manager - Southern California
Orshi, a former journalist for the largest Hungarian daily newspaper, moved to the States from her native Hungary in 2009. Marriage brought her to Seattle, where she discovered a passion for wine culture, and the drive to pursue higher wine education. She completed a winemaking and wine marketing certificate at the Northwest Wine Academy, and has achieved Level 3 of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust program. Orshi has been continually intrigued by the complexity of wine as an agricultural, technical, and cultural product landing her various positions in production, marketing and the tasting rooms of local wineries. Although she loves and appreciates wines from all over the world, Orshi finds it especially compelling to work with wines from Hungary and Central/Eastern Europe, which led her to Blue Danube Wine. She is ready to bring her skills, experiences, and knowledge to the Los Angeles and San Diego markets.
Sales - Los Angeles & San Diego
Mike made his first contact with Blue Danube when he ordered a couple of our wines to advance his status as a Century Wine Club member. We then met him virtually online when he tweeted about his passion as an avowed 'acidhound'. You will right away understand where he is coming from when you hear that his twitter name is @PNrieslingfan.
Mike joins Blue Danube after having taken many different roads over 15 years in the wine industry from buying for and managing a large iconic retail store, managing wine bars, and selling wholesale for importers and distributors. These accomplishments in Chicago were not enough as he moved to California in search of a different climate and new wines to sell.
He brings a passion for wine and food to Blue Danube with an enthusiasm for wines with personality, soul, and the distinction that makes them stand out. He will never be one to turn down a chance to try a new grape variety.
Sales Manager - Distribution
Finding wine by way of waiting tables in college Stetson Robbins found his calling within the industry when he joined Blue Danube Wine Co. in 2008 as as the first dedicated Southern California sales persona part time sales person. After 4 years developing Los Angeles into a key market, he relocated to Brooklyn, New York in the Summer of 2012 to further the East Coast efforts of the company. In 2016 he returned to California and is today working to expand distribution into additional States while advising the sales team in both Los Angeles and New York. His obsession with wine is credited to a life-long interest in the institution of dining and his studies of Greek wine culture while earning a degree in Theater Arts at Long Beach State. To him wine is part of an aesthetic total that brings together nature, culture, history and the human desire to share. His vigorous tasting habits and considerable time abroad with the producers we represent, have made him an integral part of the portfolio's evolution. In addition to sales and distribution he develops content for the website and regularly hosts tastings for both professionals and consumers, with equal enthusiasm.
Customer Service, Web Development & Support
Eugénie joined BDW Wines as office administrator in the fall of 2012. She comes to BDW with extensive client experience having worked for Connecticut based high-end caterer Aux Delices for three years. Prior to raising three daughters, she worked at two New York City banks as a French coordinator in the credit department. Before that, she lived in Japan for two years, working in customer relations for a major international department store chain. Born and raised in Paris, Eugénie is quite familiar with the regional terroirs of France, but she is enthusiastic about introducing the world to the lesser-known wines of Europe.
Eugénie has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and North America. She received her degree in Japanese Studies from the Sorbonne. She loves traveling, swimming, cooking regional dishes, and hiking in Northern California.
Born in Paris and raised in the South of France, Catherine moved to the Bay Area in 1989 where she worked for the high-tech industry. She started getting serious about wine a few years ago when she and her husband built a wine cellar under their house. In order to keep track of her growing wine collection, she developed ManageYourCellar.com, a cellar management website that has attracted wine lovers from all over the world. Catherine has recently joined Blue Danube to focus on Web Design and Development.
At home, Catherine enjoys mature reds, zesty whites and likes to experiment with new recipes to pair wine with food. And when she is not cooking or tasting wines, she loves hiking and skiing with her family.