It is less than six months since Jonathan White moved from Berry Bros & Rudd to head up the marketing responsibilities at Armit Wines. Ahead of the distributor’s annual tasting on September 5 he looks back on clearly an eventful year to date, a lack of a long summer holiday and how, when he can, it’s Fat Boy Slim he settles down to in the evening.
Jonathan White reflects on how lucky we are to work in a trade that allows us to enjoy such memorable experiences as well as create some of our own for our customers to enjoy.
We are well in truly in the second half of the year how has 2017 gone for you so far?
Very quickly! I keep having to correct myself when I state that I am new to Armit Wines. The past six months have absolutely flown by, but I see that as a positive thing. We have lots of plans and it is really pleasing to see some come to fruition.
Best moments of the year so far – business wise and personally?
Business wise, it is hard to look past meeting and forging relationships with some of the world’s leading winemakers and colleagues from their estates.
On my second day we launched Sassicaia 2014 with Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta. I was treated, along with a group of sommeliers, to a guided tasting of the base wines from the individual vineyards that compose Ornellaia’s blend by by Axel Heinz in my second month and recently Trevor Clough from Digby Fine English hosted a fascinating ‘blending salon’ of the base wines that contribute to their flagship vintage blend.
Tasting Tua Rita’s wines for the first time with Stefano Frascolla in our office was another highlight and celebrating Viña Ardanza’s 75th Anniversary in Rioja next month will be something to remember too I am sure. We are also starting to see some of our partnership objectives come together, and we’re delighted to be working closely with the Philarmonia, Salon QP and most recently, the UK Sommelier Association?
Personally? The whole year has been great watching my daughter grow up. She is so much fun at the moment.
Most challenging moments of the year?
Travelling each day with South West Trains. It’s always eventful.
What are you big goals for the business for the rest of the year?
Getting the website to where it should be – we are not far away now, and ensuring that we continue to fulfil all of the plans we have for our key suppliers and that we represent them as well as we possibly can, here in the UK.
You have your annual tasting on September 5. Tell us what to expect there.
We are extremely proud to represent many exceptional producers exclusively in the UK, including some of the world’s outstanding performers along with the stars of tomorrow.
Our annual tasting is a fantastic opportunity to taste over 160 wines (of which 15 are organic, biodynamic or carbon zero) from 13 countries and over 45 producers. We are usually associated with the fine wines from Italy, and whilst we are very proud of those wine estates that we work with, we have so much more to offer, including some lesser known regions that offer exceptional value for money
It takes place at 8 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5BY – just RSVP to email@example.com if you would like to join us.
What did you get up to over the summer holidays?
We are moving house so I can’t get away for long. But we hope to take a short break to Lisbon if we can.
What will you be reading?
A holiday only gets started for me once I have finished a book. So the first one has to be a real page turner, thriller of some sort. Probably one of the highly recommended on Amazon. Then a sporting autobiography to satisfy my love of pretty much all things sport and finally a couple of more high-brow books as I call them. Essentially those which my wife buys for me or which are recommended by two former colleagues who seem to have the skill of picking excellent holiday reads.
What will you be eating and drinking?
White wine and shellfish. Cheese and ice cream.
Where is your favourite place for sunset drink?
My wife and I regularly holiday in a small town called Sabanillas in Spain. Sitting in my favourite spot looking over the bay and listening to the waves crash in as the sky turns red and orange is perfect for me.
What are you drinking?
Ice cold beer. I love wine of course, but cold beer and the sunset work perfectly for me.
What is your ultimate summer movie?
I don’t have one. I try to avoid sitting inside during the spring and summer if I can. That said, anything with lots of beaches works for me as a way to “wish I was there”.
Best summer song?
This is where I show my boring-side. My musical tastes don’t tend to be very adventurous. I find myself going back to my collection of Ocean Colour Scene at the moment strangely, Fatboy Slim is making the odd appearance too, along with Zero 7 playing in the background when I am working. That collection grows every week. I did warn you…