The Buyer
Armit Wines

Based in London, Armit Wines has a reputation as one of the UK’s leading Fine Wine merchants, recognised for the quality of its portfolio with several exclusive agencies in the UK including Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia), Bruno Giacosa, Querciabella from Italy as well as established icons of the fine wine world such as Château Lafleur and La Rioja Alta S.A.

Not to rest on its laurels, Armit continues to push the range forward with rising stars such as Domaine Bart and Domaine Michel Mallard and Domaine Alain Burguet from Burgundy, Davide Fregonese in Piedmont and Terroir Sense Fronteres in Montsant.

Since its inception in 1988, Armit Wines has never been afraid to break the mould. The founder, John Armit, played a key role in transforming how the wine industry operates, pioneering the practice of buying directly from producers and building long standing relationships. John stepped back from the business in 2008 and sold a majority share to Dutch group Baarsma, which was bought in its entirety by Invivo Wine in 2017. In July 2019, Invivo bought the last remaining shares and became the complete owner of Armit Wines. This new arrangement has allowed Armit to return to operating entirely independently and autonomously in the UK with the added financial backing and support of the French group.

The agency business operates alongside a Fine Wine private account management team, a trading arm and significant reach in the off and on trade, supplying top restaurants and retailers across the UK. This unique, multi-channel approach offers the agencies an unparalleled reach across all sectors of the UK wine trade.

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Latest News

Armit Wines’ second year of substantial growth and increased profitability

Armit Wines’ managing director Brett Fleming

Armit Wines Limited latest accounts filed at Companies House for the year ending September 30 2021 reports that it returned:

  • 7% increase in turnover to £22 million

  • A swing in net profit of nearly £2m in two years due to a more strategic placement of key wines in terms of route to market and greater operating efficiencies

  • Gross profit increased to 25.4% up from 22.7%

  • Increased offering of high-quality suppliers

  • Growth of customer base

Armit Wines has continued its growth strategy implemented by Cordier by Invivo when it acquired the business in 2017 and appointed Brett Fleming as managing director at the end of 2019. It has continued to focus on strategically allocating its fine wine portfolio and creating targeted, quality sales campaigns. These campaigns, along with increased operating profit, helped overall net profit increase by nearly £2m over two years to just over £1.3m.

Turnover increased by 7% to £22 million in comparison to the prior 12 month period and similarly, gross profit increased from 22.7% to 25.4% (1.8% pts based on a 12 month comparison) due to successful En Primeur campaigns.

The Company also saw an increase of its customer base and added a number of new high- quality suppliers such as Elena Walch, Viticoltori De Conciliis both from Italy, Mendel Wines from Argentina, with more on the way broadening its offering of estate grown and family focused domains even further.

The company is confident of substantial growth and increased profitability in future years despite operating through the pandemic and the challenges of Brexit.

It is well on its way to achieving its mid–long term vision of reaching a turnover of £30m in the next two to five years and £50m in the next five to eight years.

Brett Fleming, managing director, of Armit Wines says: “We are incredibly proud of our results for the year ended September 2021. We are in the second year of exponential growth in what has been a tumultuous few years for many in the trade. Our results highlight that our strategy to focus on quality, alongside investing in more efficient routes to market and developing our sales channels, is working well.

“We are charged by our suppliers to match their excellence in the wine they produce with our own efforts in ensuring they are placed with the right accounts, people and consumers. This has been a key focus over the last 2 years and is a significant factor in now seeing the results in our numbers. Furthermore, this business model is proving sustainable and we are already in a strong position in the early stages of our new fiscal year. Building on our current position and continuing our plans for even greater efficiency sets us well on track to reach our turnover targets for the next 2-5 years of £30m and beyond.

“We will continue to work closely with our suppliers, whose stories are integral to the fine wine they masterfully make and we sell; and we promise to continue to bring our loyal customers access to some of the finest wines and suppliers across the world.”

Australia’s iconic Rockford joins Armit Wines

Founded by Robert O’Callaghan, the winery is a family-owned Barossa institution using traditional Barossa grape varieties, with some vines dating back to the 1880s. it was stablished in 1984 and is now in its 38th vintage and prides itself on maintaining the best of the traditional Australian wine trade. Much of the winery equipment also dates back well over 100 years. This unique approach to use traditional winemaking techniques and attitudes, results in a range of wines which represent the pinnacle of quality that the Barossa can produce.

Brett Fleming, managing director of Armit, says of Rockford joining the portfolio: “Armit Wines is recognised for some of the finest producers from Italy France and Spain. However Armit is also about championing excellence no matter where it is produced and the addition of Rockford Wines to our portfolio is an example of this. Arguably one of the leading producers from the Barrosa Valley in Australia, Rockford is steeped in history matched by their legendary wines. To be able to showcase these in our portfolio is a total privilege. Truly iconic in their reputation their wines justifiably illustrate the key aspect we look for in any new supplier. Terroir driven, family owned, expressive in their vision and above all utterly delicious. We are honoured to have Rockford join the Armit family.”

David Kalleske of Rockford Winery says: “After a few years away from the UK wine market, we’re very pleased to be back and represented by Armit. Only very limited quantities of Rockford wines can be made available, so we’re proud to have Armit introducing our wines to private customers and select restaurants.”

Armit Wines will list five wines from Rockford:

Basket Press Shiraz 2016

Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley 2018

Rod and Spur Shiraz Cabernet, Barossa Valley 2018

Moppa Springs Grenache Mataro Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2018

Sparkling Black Shiraz NV

Alto Adige’s first female winemaker Elena Walch joins Armit Wines

Elena Walch crafts pure, varietally-true wines with a clarity and energy that captures the best of Alto Adige. She is best known for her iconic ‘Beyond the Clouds’ Chardonnay-based blend, described as one of the iconic whites of northern Italy by Monica Larner, Wine Advocate.

Elena Walch is also known for owning some of the best vineyards in Italy including two monopoles: Castel Ringberg in Caldaro and Kastelaz in Tramin, both at 300-400m altitude. These are officially recognised with the prestigious geographical domination ‘Vigna’ and produce astonishing single-vineyard wines, such as the Castel Ringberg Pinot Grigio.

Brett Fleming, managing director of Armit Wines says: Elena Walch is a true icon of Italian wine, and we could not be more excited to be representing the range in the UK. These are pure, crystalline wines that truly reflect the best of what this exciting region can offer.”

Julia Walch added: “We are thrilled to know that the UK distribution for Elena Walch is in the hands of Armit Wines. We share a passion for wine, and the highest dedication to uncompromising quality. We are proud to be part of Armit’s carefully selected wine portfolio and look forward to a successful and long-lasting partnership.”

Provence’s Domaine Mapliers joins Armit Wines’ French portfolio

Armit Wines has added Domaine Mapliers from Provence as another of its exclusive distribution partners and is now able to supply their premium rosé wines to the UK market.

“We are delighted to add Domaine des Mapliers to our collection of iconic producers. Due to our trading results over the last 12 months, and following a range review, Armit Wines is now in a position to increase our offering by adding unique producers, making wines full of personality and exhibiting the credentials of sustainable and ethical production along with credible quality driven wines. We are all incredibly excited to be representing such an exclusive producer who is a newcomer for the region and for the UK market. We look forward to sharing it with wine lovers in the top UK on-trade accounts,” says Armit Wines managing director, Brett Fleming.

Domaine des Mapliers is owned by the Gallo Family. The vineyard is located in the heart of Provence Varoise, the vines are spread hillside, south facing, on a calcareous clay soil at an altitude of 300 metres above sea level, bringing to the wine a unique freshness. Domaine des Mapliers is cultivated in total respect of nature. The soils are treated gently with a mechanical weeding and ploughing. The estate is certified Organic.

Armit wines will work with the two rosés of the Domaine; the Côtes de Provence AOP. ‘Preference’ that is the lighter style, convivial and cheerful. While ‘Abacus’ is a more solid and gastronomic style.

Nicolas Clerc MS and brand manager at Armit Wines, adds: “I have been following the estate since their 2018 vintage. I have witnessed a serious increase year after year on quality and precision. 2020 is simply superb for both wines. This is the right time to bring them on board as we have been looking for a serious producer in Provence for some time and we are now very happy to have found one of the best producers in the region.”

“At Domaine des Mapliers, our main focus is to produce the highest quality wine with special care to our land and the environment. We love sharing our passion and we want to be in business with people who share our values; That is why we are extremely excited to partner with Armit Wines, as they are becoming our exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. Armit Wines team has a huge experience in the wine industry, great track record, impressive dedication and values. They are not only our distributor but a very important partner and we are grateful and humbled to work hand in hand with such an incredible firm,” says Nathalie Gallo of Domaine des Mapliers.

The two Domaine des Mapliers rosés are now available from Armit Wines: 2020 Cotes de Provence Rosé ‘Preferences’ is priced £14.28 per bottle 2020 Cotes de Provence Rosé ‘Abacus’ £20.50 per bottle.

Mendel Wines signs up to Armit Wines

Mendel Wines, a family-owned winery that represents the union of Roberto de la Mota, one of Argentina’s most respected and experienced winemakers with the Sielecki family, has signed a partnership with Armit Wines Ltd as its exclusive distributor in the UK.

Brett Fleming, managing director for Armit Wines, said: “Mendel Wines has been awarded and recognied by the most prestigious international wine experts, journalists and magazines around the globe. As a premium producer expressing terroir driven wines that truly illustrate their own story, they are exactly the right fit for Armit’s longer term vision. We are thrilled to partner with Mendel Wines to grow their iconic wine portfolio in the United Kingdom.”

Diego Surazsky, CEO of Mendel Wines, added: “In our search for a regional partner, we quickly came across Armit Wines Ltd as a leading player in the UK’s fine wine business. Our two companies share the same values with regards to premium brand building and are committed to long term, sustainable, growth. We are excited to partner and look forward to unleashing the full potential of our wines in the UK market”.