Our Team

Frank Dietrich and Zsuzsanna Molnar

frank @ bluedanubewine.com
zsuzsa @ bluedanubewine.com

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

Tara Hammond

Sales Manager - New York
tara @ bluedanubewine.com

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.

Joe Kozlinski

Sales - New York
joe @ bluedanubewine.com

Joe got his start working at Whole Foods Market in North Carolina. Joe’s culinary passion grew as he quickly rose through the ranks and continued his career with Whole Foods in New York City. Ready for a new challenge, Joe began working at one of New York's best cocktail bars, Clover Club where he honed his skills, becoming proficient in cocktail development, at which point he moved to Anfora Wine Bar where he was the head bartender and in charge of the progressive cocktail program. This is where he first fell in love with Blue Danube Wines. Five years of working with these special wines fueled his desire to pursue a career in the world of Eastern wines. He was excited to have the opportunity to join Blue Danube in September 2017. When Joe is not hitting the streets with a bag of wine, he moonlights at Ruffian Wine Bar and Chef's Table in Manhattan's East Village.

California Sales Team

Eric Danch

Sales Manager - San Francisco & Sacramento
eric @ bluedanubewine.com

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.

Mike Tesarek

Sales - Los Angeles & San Diego
wineman62000 @ yahoo.com

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.

Ken Hanson

Sales - San Diego
kenhanson82 @ gmail.com

I became a professional road cyclist dfter graduating from college. At the end of my first racing season, I needed to work and I found a job at a local winery, working pump over’s and punch downs. Before this winery job, my knowledge of wine would not extend past the Two Buck Chuck Merlot from Trader Joe’s and I really had no concept of how good wine could be. The winemaker gave me the opportunity to work under him and I learned a lot about winemaking and how his style differed from other winemakers. Those 3 months in the cellar were some of the most fun I had ever had at a job and it never felt like work. Getting exposed to the hands-on process of making wine truly opened my eyes to the labor of love that goes into a bottle of well-made wine. My career as a professional road cyclist lasted 10 years and I was fortunate enough to travel in the United States and around the world. One of my teammates was from Slovenia and he invited me to visit his home. Visiting wineries and vineyards in Slovenia and tasting the wine were truly special. After my career in cycling, I began working with a few winemakers doing direct sales to restaurants and retailers. I was always very fond of Blue Danube Imports and would purchase their wines whenever I had the opportunity. Luckily for me they were looking for a Sales Rep in sunny San Diego and I was really thrilled to do it!

Customer Service, Web Development & Support

Eugénie Cabot

Order Administration
eugenie @ bluedanubewine.com

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.

Yolanda De La Paz

Order Administration
yolanda @ bluedanubewine.com

Most of her career in Human Resources has been working for High Tech industry - from start-ups to large corporations. She enjoys reading, travelling, working with children of various ages and learning from them. The ironic part of working for a wine distributor is that she cannot partake in any of the tastings - she is allergic to alcohol. However, two of her favorite table grape varietals are Muscat (White) with its floral scent and taste and Champagne (Red). Nope, not the grape variety used to make Champagne wine but the tiny grapes for eating also called Black Corinth. For the past three years, she's taken an interest and tasted the grapes being produced by the Grapery. This grape-growing company has developed and is developing some interesting grapes such as Cotton Candy through plant breeding (not GMO!!!). Interestingly enough one of the co-owners grandfather emigrated to California from Croatia. For someone who cannot drink wine, eating grapes is the next best thing for her!

Catherine Granger

Web Development
catherine @ bluedanubewine.com

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.