Henk Maas has been an importer of world champions for almost 30 years: 'In 1994, no one in the Netherlands wanted Domaine de La Romanée-Conti' - TEXT + IMAGE KARIN LEEUWENHOEK
Nobody wanted to import DRC!
'In those days, expensive wine was not necessary for the Dutch. The Calvinist slant, which we still have, did change somewhat as the economy improved. There were a few who bought expensive Bordeaux, but Burgundy was not yet like that. Thin wines, people thought. Whereas a good Bourgogne, without showing strength, could sweep a great Bordeaux off the table. I thought we absolutely had to have Burgundy in our portfolio. Colleagues were not interested then and we ran as new kid on the block with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti away. Purely from the passion for quality. Just seeing DRC's label makes me very warm, every time.'
Rather Bourgogne than Bordeaux?
'No, I wouldn't say it like that. I owe much of my success to Bordeaux. But that market is a snake pit, though. It's a very aristocratic, aloof, tactical world where everything revolves around prices. Whereas in Burgundy you just sit down with people and we talk to each other about our problems and our pleasures.'
What did you do before wine importation?
'Then I had a very nice restaurant in The Hague: La Grande Bouffe, named after the famous food film.
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