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Five minutes with Lee Evans, founder, Condor Wines

Published:  29 June, 2021

Lee Evans set up South America specialist importer Condor Wines with just four Argentine wineries on board in June 2011. On its 10th anniversary he recounts to Andrew Catchpole how it all started and how he’s celebrating.

My first Malbec was while working for Intercontinental Hotels back in 1999. I remember reading that label, and even then it was talking about snowmelt and high altitude and the Andes and I thought ‘wow, that’s a good story’. I was a mere assistant food and beverage manager – little did I know I’d end up importing the stuff.

I met my Argentinian wife, Maria, in 2003 while we were both working there, and on subsequent trips to South America I started discovering the wines. Those trips, plus the demand, plus the fact I’d been raised in a family business and wanted my own, meant I finally left the comfort of the corporate world – now working for Carlsberg – and went off to Argentina in 2010, staying a year, and basically established Condor Wines on 15 June 2011.

The first wines landed in the UK in 2012, within six months we added Chile, then in 2014 we struck up a partnership collaboration with Carla Bertelotti, who had a business called Wines of Uruguay, which subsequently became Vinos Latinos. We were selling to regional wholesalers and wine merchants and they remain a core part of our business.

We've just celebrated our anniversary, on 15 June, with Condor Wines’ South American Discovery Sessions. 

More information is available on Condor Wines website for those that wish to catch up with these deeper dives into South America, its winemakers and wines.