Blue Crane Imports is a Chicago-based importer and distributor with an exclusive focus on South African wines which capture the beauty, style, and passion of the country and its winemakers.
Who We Are
James Clark – Founder/Chief Executive Officer
I love wine, as well as the relationships and atmosphere that it creates. That’s the simple reason why I set up an import and distribution company, although a business leadership career in aerospace and defense was definitely an unconventional path to get there. Many years spent living in Europe sparked for me a lasting connection with wine, and an unforseen opportunity launched me toward the building of a new venture devoted to it. I was inspired by the chance to work with and learn from an exceptional group of people in South Africa that deserve exposure here, and motivated by a respect for the intersection of artistry, agriculture and science required to make a great wine. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to work with a great team to take this creative experience and turn it into a business reality. We have the desire, commitment and capability to make Blue Crane Imports a very enjoyable, long term success.
Jon Clark – Chief Operating Officer
A twenty-year career in global sales, operations, and business leadership, including five years living overseas, created the opportunity for me to experience different cultures, food, and wine from around the world. Those influences have remained a passion of mine, and I was excited by the challenge to pursue a meaningful place in this industry by focusing on the quality, value and diversity that South Africa has to offer. The wines that we are importing are still a relatively new experience for both the casual and professional buyer in the United States; our objective is to help narrow that gap by creating awareness, building relationships, developing a path to market, and by doing what we say we can do. We greatly appreciate the support our of producers and the customers that have given us a shot to make this happen.
David Perri – Partner
Having the opportunity to participate in the evolution of a company like Blue Crane Imports has truly been one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. From the outset of the idea created by the Clark brothers, to the engagement with the first customers, every step has been part of a rewarding adventure and I feel honored to be a part of it. As a long time corporate executive from outside the industry, my wife and I felt that involvement in the wine community was a dream for the future rather than a real opportunity for the present. We did, however, always know that we wanted to be connected to the business of wine from our very first trip to the Napa Valley; the passion of the people we met, the expertly produced wines, and the personal success stories instilled a desire to be a part of it. Eventually being introduced to the quality and diversity of South African wine was a revelation, and the chance to play an important role in developing a market for our producers here in the US is both exciting and gratifying.