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The Magic of Organic

Williamsburg-based Depanneur Wines sells organic wines with clean flavors at affordable prices. Owner Nichelina Mavros has a simple philosophy: “To buy wine that we like to drink.״ Read about her inspiring journey of running her organic wine business below.

Nichelina Mavros owner of Depanneur Wines

Nichelina Mavros has a passion for small-production, terroir-driven wines created by people who care as much for the vineyards they cultivate as they do the final product. She’s drawn to vintners who are also organic farmers and holistic land stewards, artists and educators, and freethinkers. It’s a diverse crowd, but one united by a dedication to “letting the vines speak for themselves.”

What made you get into the wine business?

I have always been into food and wine. When I was in college, I started by working at cheese counters, which I loved. I wanted to learn how to read those dense wine lists when I went to restaurants. Then I fell down the wine rabbit hole.

Why did you decide to focus on organic wines?

After tasting my fair share of wines, I realized how great I felt when the quality was better – meaning small production wines made by people with a vision of giving back to the land. It’s a whole new world and it’s really quite magical what a difference it makes. I think Moreau Naudet Chablis might have been one of the first wines I was transported by.

Some of the older generation of winemakers used pesticides on their grapes, and their kids were always sick growing up as a result. In the past 20-30 years there’s really been a shift in the industry. So now you’ll find more and more pesticide-free wines.

So while each producer we stock takes a unique approach, you’ll find that many of them hold certain practices in common: dry farming, indigenous yeast fermentation, mindful extraction, only aging in neutral vessels, minimal additions (if any), and forgoing fining or filtering — just to name a few.

“In the past 20-30 years however, there’s really been a shift in the industry. So now you’ll find more and more pesticide-free wines.”

We’re constantly looking outward, seeking winemakers across the globe to support and celebrate while also being grounded in local artistry. We feel incredibly lucky to be in NYC, where we have access to a dizzying array of importers who share our ethos and collaborate with us in bringing incredible wine to the table.

Nichelina Mavros - Depanneur Wines owner

What is the biggest challenge small business owners face?

Our importers never used to charge for delivery, but now they do. Their delivery fees have shot up because of fuel prices. So now we’re looking at $5,000 annually just for delivery fees–when last year that number was zero. This is for food stores, not wine stores. My challenge is just keeping up with the cost of expenses for having a business in NY. Con Edison, rent, repairs, etc.

What short and long term goals do you have for your company?

My short and long-term business goal is making wine shopping more accessible, fun, and easy for people to understand. I also want to educate and demystify what people think of wine and how you’re supposed to experience it.

What business advice would you give to your pre-business owner self?

Keep learning, keep growing, make mistakes, and learn from them, and don’t give up.



Nichelina Mavros is the owner of Depanneur Wines, located in Brooklyn, NY.

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