Champagne co-op buys its UK distributor

1st March, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

CVRC Champagne de Castelnau has bought its UK distributor Patriarche Wine Agencies in a deal signed on Tuesday.

de-castelnau

De Castelnau was already distributed by Patriarche Wine Agencies in the UK

The London-based agency business was a subsidiary of Patriarche Père et Fils, one of Burgundy’s largest merchants, which in turn is owned by wine giant Castel.

Speaking to the drinks business this morning, Patriarche Wine Agencies’ general manager Keith Isaac MW said the move was “positive”.

“Champagne de Castelnau is keen to invest in the UK, and wants to grow Champagne sales primarily in London,” he said.

As a result Isaac said the agency business would be looking to recruit two new sales people to help build the brand in the UK, which he has spent many years promoting single-handedly.

“Castelnau is aware we need more feet on the pavement,” he said, adding, “I’m trying to do too much.”

Isaac also told db that he believed the decision by Castel to sell the Patriarche subsidiary was part of a wider trend of brand owners and producers switching their resources to markets other than the UK.

“Castel as a group view the future as the Far East, South America, and Russia, and see the UK market as mature, and hard to make money in.”

Continuing, he commented, “There are lots of wine companies who think that it’s hard to make money in the UK because there are too few buyers [controlling the market] and high taxes. They can probably make more money anywhere else, from Denmark to Japan.”

Keith Isaac

Keith Isaac MW will remain as general manager of Patriarche Wine Agencies

Nevertheless, for Champagne de Castelnau, Isaac stressed that the UK still offered opportunities for profitable growth.

“For Champagne, the UK is still by some way the biggest export market, so there is a logic to invest here.”

Isaac stressed that the move would not lead to any redundancies, and that the company would continue to distribute Patriarche wines in the UK.

“We will be keeping the agencies we have – we are just changing from being a Burgundy-owned company that sells Champagne to a Champagne-owned company that sells Burgundy.”

Isaac also said that the UK business will retain its current name until at least the early summer.

Recording that the lease on their current office expires at the end of June, Isaac said that ideally he would like to change the agency’s name at the same time as moving office.

“Our landlord wants the office back by the end of June, so if we can move and change our name at the same time, we will only have to change our letter heads and other stuff once,” he said, before commenting, “but that might be wishful thinking on my part.”

Meanwhile, he pointed out that Champagne de Castelnau is investing in its exports division, and in November last year recruited former Bollinger employee Hervé Augustin, who is now export manager at de Castelnau.

Furthermore, in an attempt to build awareness for the brand in France, last year Champagne de Castelnau replaced Jacquart as the exclusive Champagne poured on the Tour de France.

De Castelnau is owned by one of Champagne’s largest cooperatives, the Coopérative Regionale des Vins de Champagne (CRVC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Commercial Director

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse Channel

Australian Vintage Limited
Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom, UK

Sales Support Assistant

H2Vin Ltd
London, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, Surrey

Sales Order Processor

Amathus Drinks
Park Royal, London NW10, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

Events & PR Co-ordinator

Alliance Wine
London, UK

Partner Development Manager - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Field Based, UK

Head of Merchant Sales

Grapevine the Wineservice Company
Cumbria, UK

Business Development Manager – Central London

Marussia Beverages UK Ltd
Field based – London, UK

Account Manager – Premium Restaurants, London

Kingfisher Beer Europe Ltd
London (Central), UK

Field Sales Representative - Beer Innovation

Elastic
Various locations, UK

Events Executive

The Drinks Business
London, UK

Area Sales Executive

Gordon & Macphail
Southern England (excluding London) and Inner London, UK

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 4th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th August 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th August 2017

Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Click to view more