Negociants adopts direct approach7th March, 2012 by Gabriel Savage
Negociants UK has started selling directly to independent merchants and restaurants for the first time.
The subsidiary of the Yalumba Wine Company previously sold much of its Australian and New Zealand portfolio through Berkmann Wine Cellars, which underwent a complete overhaul of its Australian portfolio at the end of last year.
Describing this new direction for Negociants as “an exciting time for us and a significant investment in the business and to the UK market”, managing director Simon Thorpe MW (pictured) insisted: “There is no substitute for having our own people represent our wines in market.”
The company is in the process of putting together a team to look after London accounts, while outside the M25, Negociants will use “a carefully chosen network of talented distributors” to supply on-trade outlets across the UK. This will be supported by direct sales into independent off-trade retailers.
In the light of its new customer base, Thorpe remarked: “We recognise that there is often a need to keep wines separate into these different channels and as such we have recently augmented our portfolio with wines aimed specifically at the independent trade, both on and off.”
Among these new additions, he cited Rockford from Barossa Valley and Hunter Valley’s Brokenwood, as well as some extra Yalumba wines.
In order to support its strategic shift, Negociants has launched an “Indies Programme”, offering incentives and support to the independent retail sector. The company also announced its inaugural Winemaker Tour, a 10-day series of events and tastings, which is due to take place across the UK in September.
Producers taking part in this initiative include Louisa Rose, head of winemaking at Yalumba & Hill Smith Family Vineyards; Iain Riggs, chief winemaker at Brokenwood; Virginia Willcock, chief winemaker at Vasse Felix; Tom Barry from Jim Barry Wines; Clive Jones, chief winemaker at Nautilus Estate; and Jeff Clarke, chief winemaker at Ara Wines.