The young generation in the Baltic world of wine

Sommeliers and managers from 4 Vina Studija in Riga and 1 from Liepaja in Latvia

Kristjan Peask, Estonia’s top sommelier and owner of the Leib restaurant in Tallinn

After a long time away from Northern Europe, I have returned to the Baltic States, which after having paid a dear price during the financial crisis a few years, have come back strong. It is enough to consider that tiny Estonia increased its GDP in 2011 by 7.2%.

Martins Pilens, owner of the chain of wine bars  and wine shops Vinastudija in Riga


Specialty shops are sprouting up everywhere, the supermarkets are creating areas for the display of fine wines, the culture of wine is in continuous growth and one sees this in the everyday.

Diana Tokke, manager of the import wine shop Veinituba in Tallinn

Kristian Markii, sommelier at the restaurant Balthazaar in Tallinn

For this we have to thank to the young Latvians and Estonians who have travelled, full of passion, understood and circulated the various wine cultures, especially that of Italy.

My “old” friend Imre Uussar, sommelier at the restaurant Dominic

Sirli Kruusmaa, manager of the restaurant Ö in Tallinn

I took some photos with them to show you, and it is to them that I dedicate this post.

The truly lovely Kristina Orehovska, manager of the wine shop WineWay

Ingrid Lepp, of the restaurant Kook

What they all have in common is their curiosity, their passion for a business that while challenging is also fundamental for communicating to the end customer Italy and the splendours of its wine.

Snow in Tallinn

I noted with charmed astonishment that the restaurants in the Baltic capitals have free Wi-Fi and would like to underline that Baltic-Taxi in Riga also has it in its vehicles. This is not directly related to wine, but shows the focus in these countries on the future.

Rein Kasela wine importer in Tallinn and Nicola Tanda historic chef at the Italian restaurant Bocca, together with a 5 litre bottle of Barolo Leon 2001


I remember that in 1991 Estonia and Latvia were behind the times due to Soviet domination as compared to the Italy of about twenty years ago, and now it really seems that they are catching up…