Mirror mirror on the wall, how do you compare one sparkling wine or Champagne to another? With great difficulty which is why you need experts in the field to take on the challenge which is what the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships are all about. This year’s competition is now open for entries as founder, Tom Sevenson, hopes to once again find the very best in class along with fellow judges, Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tony Jordan.
It was a surprise in the late summer when the news broke that Paul Schaafsma was to return to the wine industry in the chief executive role at Broadland Wineries. It is even more of a surprise that we find out today that he is leaving his post after only four months to start up his own sales and marketing wine business and taking two of his new Broadland recruits with him. Here’s the exclusive inside line…
The medical profession normally does not want anything to do with wine, but not trained gynaecologist Sorcha Holloway. She has turned her back on stethoscopes to forge a new career as a growing voice for the average wine drinker, who unusually has been able to connect with both the traditional wine trade and wine drinking community on social media with her breakthrough #ukwinehour Twitter chat hashtag that has grown to such an extent that it now has a reach of potentially 350,000 people around the world. Here’s her story…
If you are part of the wine industry still scratching your head about how to get yourself noticed and stand out from every other brand or wine in the category, then pour yourself a cup of tea and read how New Zealand producer, Invivo Wines, has managed to get itself noticed around the world. Now admittedly it has done so, in part, by linking up with chat show host, Graham Norton, but its founders, Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, have also used FMCG marketing, thinking and innovation to make far greater noise about what they do than businesses 10 times their size.
With a limited amount of space to fight for on ever decreasing wine lists, Rioja is one of the few regions outside of France that is pretty much guaranteed a place on the vast majority of restaurant, bar, and pub lists. So as a wine distributor to be recognised for your Rioja as well as your Spanish wine offer is doubly important. Which is why Paul Shinnie, Spanish wine buyer for Alliance Wine, was particularly pleased to pick up the ‘Distributor of the Year’ award at this month’s Rioja Recognises initiative run by Wines of Rioja.
Having got the idea of Baileys Irish Cream from a Soho mini mart and a pack of butter, drinks inventor David Gluckman was faced with the withering criticism of his prototype “That s*it will never sell”. In an illuminating tell-all book Gluckman sheds light on the fascinating world of brand development at Diageo in which failures, just as much as successes, are held dear. Mike Turner reports.
You have go to back to a time when Abba was walking away with Eurovision and we were all humming all along to Waterloo to track the origins of Buckingham Schenk. But it is a very different business now to when it first started out in life as Buckingham Vintners. As part of the European-wide Schenk Group it is in a position to service the UK on-trade with wines direct from producers all over the Continent as well as being able to source and create its own agency and exclusive wines.
It seems you can’t wander around a major city these days without stumbling across a new craft gin distiller, but for Tom Warner, founding partner of Warner Edwards nothing beats making gin out on its Northamptonshire farm where he can use local produce and ingredients from elderflower, to rhubarb and now bees to create a range of super authentic, highly popular natural, flavoured gins.
When it comes to importing, distributing and make a name for yourself in the UK there are now a growing number of ways of shifting cases of wine for an ambitious international producer. For some, however, the traditional model of working with a big agency does not give them the exclusivity they want and instead they are relying on the likes of Chuck Cramer, a specialist wine consultant, with a track record of single handedly building distribution and listings for producers in the premium on-trade. Here he explains how he is looking to do exactly that for America’s Terlato Wines.
It certainly turned a few heads last month when it was announced that Paul Schaafsma, the former chief executive of Accolade Wines, was returning to the UK as head of wine packing business, Broadland Wineries. But it is also a further reflection of how traditional bottlers are becoming key suppliers of branded and own label wines in their own right for the on and increasingly on-trade.