Neil and Maria Empson’s foray into Italian wine seemed predestined. Neil is a Kiwi whose family cultivated some of the first vineyards in Marlborough, and Maria is an artist that studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Both were mesmerized by the beauty and craftmanship found in Italy’s art and cars. During a trip to Milan the couple realized this passion for craftmanship extended to the country’s winemaking.
Maria and Neil Empson were mesmerized by the rich agriculture of this unspoiled land. At the time, the Italian wine market was self-sustaining, and producers did not look beyond their borders for new markets or customers. These producers focused on embracing new technology and furthering a revolution in quality. It became the Empson’s mission to expose the world to the unique wines that Italy had been crafting for centuries.
Neil and Maria were pioneers when they began importing Italian wines into the United States in 1971. They spent countless hours driving the Italian countryside in search of producers that could share in their vision of quality, consistency, and remarkability.
The Empsons focused on creating relationships with boutique producers that emphasized excellence and value. It was a leap of faith that became a relationship of mutual esteem and trust, which with time, blossomed into friendship. Over 45 years later, Neil and Maria, along with their daughter Tara, are still at the forefront of the wine industry and have since expanded their reach, bringing Italian wines to countries across the globe.
Today, Tara is now eager to live up to her parents’ legacy by investing in better ways to strengthen the Empson business model while expanding the company’s global footprint. Tara is honored to represent the wineries and her personal goal is to ensure that the Empson business evolves with the market by meeting its expectations and by bringing back the value in tradition.
“If there is one thing the Empsons appreciate more than Italy’s automotive aptitude, it is its potential for making world-class wine. The dynamic husband-and-wife team has been the guardian of fine Italian wine since founding Neil Empson Selections in Milan in 1970, around the same time that the very notion of quality Italian wines was born.”
-Monica Larner, Wine Enthusiast
“The floodgates opened wide starting in the 1980s. You had Neil and Maria Empson, who proselytized fine Italian wines at a time when that very phrase was, if not entirely unknown, viewed with skepticism. They crisscrossed America selling then-unknown but now-famous producers such as Costanti, Marcarini and, not least, Angelo Gaja, among the dozens of others they introduced to curious American wine lovers.”
-Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator
At Empson (U.S.A.), Inc. we are committed to showing to the world that Italy is the home to wine excellence. Family, integrity, leadership, and authenticity are the four key strengths that have enabled the Empson Company to establish its standout positioning as a pioneer in importing Italian and other fine wines worldwide. Inspiring the wine world through authentic and reliable relationships amongst the team, its customers and the global wine community.
Empson (U.S.A.), Inc. is a leading importer of Italian and other fine wines worldwide. Founded in 1991, the company works with quality and distinctive family-owned estates who are deeply rooted in the excellence of Italian and other renowned terroirs. With Empson, customers have the advantage of working with a team of passionate experts who offer services in wine marketing, logistics, advertising and communications, liaising first-class Italian and other worldwide wineries with renowned international restaurants and wine retailers.