About Us

How we started:

Bob and ShannaShanna & Bob Marx started Amara Wines in 2003 as a wine importing company. Shortly afterwards, they added wine distribution in the numerous States where they hold import licenses. Their focus has been, and remains, to find high quality, high value wines typically from independent growers practicing sustainable, biodynamic or organic viticulture.

Today, they have over 400 labels from classic Old World regions such as France, Italy and Spain as well as New World regions such as Greece, Israel, South Africa, South America and Australia, plus jewels from Washington, Oregon, California and New York. Over the years Amara’s distribution side forged relationships with additional importers to bring wines from a wide variety regions.

Bob and Shanna have developed a staff and continue to grow Amara Wines’ presence in Minnesota as the premier boutique wine importer/distributor. In addition to growing Amara Wines, they are raising a beautiful family of three children. Their eldest is daughter, Amara, which means in many Fertile Crescent cultures “Heaven on Earth” or “Paradise.”


Meet the team:

Robert (Bob) Marx


Chief Executive Officer/OwnerBob

Bob has a distinguished 20+ year military career in the Marines and Coast Guard. Two serendipitous moments for him were being assigned to security of the State Department’s South African Diplomatic staff and being sent to a course in sales created by Xerox, considered the platinum standard for sales at the time. The perfection of these two experiences led him to launch the import side of their business with South African wines and to this day, Amara carries some stellar South African Wines. Between the time in South Africa, the Xerox training and launching Amara Wines, he had a highly successful Executive Search Firm for a number of years.

Contact Information:
Email: Bob@amarawines.com

Shanna Marx


President, General ManagerShanna

Shanna is a certified Sommelier through The Court of Masters Sommeliers and has taken their advanced course, and hopes to one day be a Master Sommelier. She has also taken courses through diploma with the International Sommelier Guild (ISG). Most recently, Shanna passed the advanced certification course (Level 3) with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is currently enrolled in their diploma program on her way to becoming a Mast of Wine! Before her interest in wine, Shanna got a liberal arts education and was working in an art gallery when she met Bob. After college she owned and operated a real estate appraisal company where she reached Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser level and was federally approved and on the FHA roster.

Contact Information:
Cell: (651) 206-2388
Email: Shanna@amarawines.com

Andrea Carlson


West Metro Regional ManagerAndrea

Andrea is a Certified Executive Sommelier. Andrea’s back ground is in buying and management as well as retail merchandising. Andrea was previously a wine category analyst with one of the largest international producers and marketers of wines, beers and spirits. Andrea fallowed her passion for wanting to work with wines and spirits due to their quality, not their ability to be traded as commodities, and she soon joined Amara in September, 2013. Andrea has achieved an advanced food and wine pairing certification and Wine and Spirits Education Trust Advanced level certification (Level 3).

Contact information:
Cell: (651) 558-1802
Email: Andrea@amarawines.com

Krista Milne


Operations Manager, Compliance Manager, krista
Logistics Coordinator

Krista has a background in Communications, Business Management, and a minor in French from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Krista works hard to keep things working smoothly and organized behind the scenes at Amara. She has many responsibilities from compliance, to accounts receivables and payables to logistics. Krista has been a highly valued member of the Amara team since June of 2013. Krista has even donated her time to help raise funds for charities that positively affect our global and local communities such as No Dog Left Behind, Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure™, Dirty Girl Mud Run, Hard Charge (crew), and the National MS Society.

Contact Information:
Main: (763) 572-WINE (9463)
Fax: (763) 572-9465
Email: Krista@amarawines.com

GARRETT KRASKA


EAST METRO REGIONAL MANAGERGarrett

Garrett is a Certified Wine Professional through St. Paul College.  He started out his education and career in mortuary science and became a funeral director.  Spending most of his life helping people through the grieving process, Garrett wanted to change things up and work in an industry that makes people happy. He and his wife grew to love wine and developed an interest in niche, hand crafted vineyards.  They started a video blog to educate the masses about some of the amazing small production wines that are out there.  This is when he decided to become a wine professional and make a change for his future. He and his wife have been to Napa and Sonoma, CA and Oregon multiple times, Burgundy, and Champagne, with more trips on the horizon! Garrett joined Amara at the beginning of October 2015 and has been working hard to meet every customer face-to-face and meet all of there needs.  He continues to maintain his blog and will soon be submitting to the Amara Wines blog! A congratulations are in order for Garrett as he won a trip to South Africa for his amazing sales of the Elo brand!

Contact Information:
Cell: (651) 230-0589
Email: Garrett@amarawines.com

CRYSTAL LAW


EAST METRO ON-PREMISE SPECIALISTCrystal
WEST METRO ON & OFF-PREMISE SPECIALIST

Crystal is a dynamic wine and spirits expert.  She comes from a family of restaurateurs and has been passionate about food, wine and craft spirits almost her entire life.  Crystal Studied at the University of British Columbia and worked in highly respected restaurants curating wine programs throughout her college years.  She then moved to Shanghai to work in international wine and spirits.  Crystal eventually came back to Minnesota and did wine program management and curation for acclaimed restaurants.  This is where she was exposed to Amara Wines & Amphora Imports.  When Crystal expressed an interest in working with us we were eager to welcome her as our East Metro On Premise Specialist and West Metro On/Off Premise Specialist (outside of Minneapolis Proper).

Contact Information:
Cell: (651) 274-9077
Email: Crystal@amarawines.com

Lorne RogersLorne


Warehouse & Logistics Manager

Lorne is the best warehouse manager that anyone could ever ask for!  He keeps inventory ship shape, manages logistics, does all deliveries and in general, can drive forklift circles around any warehouse manager who has come before him.  Lorne is exceptionally efficient and his number one goal is to always make our customers happy to work with us.