Top 10 influential wine consultants

10th December, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

7. Retailers

retailer

A little mentioned but increasingly influential face of consulting is that carried out directly by many of the major retailers.

With the expanding shelf space given, in the UK at least, to own label or exclusive label wines, the skillset of many buyers today extends into product development and close collaboration with winemakers to create a wine tailored directly for their specific customer base.

Laithwaites Wine now includes no fewer than three trained winemakers on its buying team, which sources wine across the company’s UK, US and Australian operations. “For me it’s all about flexibility,” explains Laithwaites’ wine director Abi Hirshfeld, who confirms that while the majority of the time her team’s winemaking involvement is restricted to blending the “80-90%” of wines which are exclusive to Laithwaites, there is the option to extend this right back to vineyard parcel selection.

“For me it’s about where we can add value,” she outlines. “If a winemaker’s doing a good job then they don’t need us to do that, but we can maybe help them with bottling.” Even where the intervention required is minimal, Hirshfeld stresses the value of a team that is able to straddle the commercial and production elements of the wine business so effectively. “It really enables us to deliver wines that we know our customers will love,” she sums up.

10 Responses to “Top 10 influential wine consultants”

  1. Kevin Robinson says:

    Amazingly, you left out David Ramey who Robert Parker claimed as one of the best in our industry!

  2. Greg Gillooly says:

    I’ve always maintained that there are only two stories to tell in all of fine wine promotion: the ” hallowed ground” story and the “magic chef” story. Now the “magic chefs” come to the “hallowed ground” where ever it may be. What a wonderful world this is!
    //

  3. Tom Payette says:

    So proud to see my mentor Mr. Boissenot and his son as the number one. You have his this spot on in ranking as best you could. Mr. Boissnot and his family are top notch and have taught me so very much. A Votre Sante !

  4. Andrew Healy says:

    Not a mention of Philippe Melka or Guy Anderson……

  5. Jamie Smith says:

    solid list and respect to wine consultants in shaping the wine supply chain and building wine brands!

  6. VinConnect says:

    Philippe Cambie and Philippe Melka would like to have a word with you…

  7. winedoggie says:

    You also left out Nick Goldschmidt. Over 30 years in the industry, consulting all over the world and makes some really amazing wines.

  8. sukumar das says:

    i like to set up a plant and seeking for consultancy

  9. Manjush Garg says:

    We are looking at setting up a wine import branding and sales platform and are on a look out for Wine Consultants and Tasters to guide us select some good wines from each wine producing region. Look forward to your inputs on this.

    • andrew says:

      HI Manjush,
      I represent a range of Australia and New Zealands largest and finest wine brands. Let me know how I can help you.
      Andrew

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