Drinks Business Awards 2015: the winners

International Drinks Company of the Year

db Awards 2015_HEL7876 copy

Ben Smith of Concha Y Toro

Winner: Viña Concha y Toro

2014 was a pivotal year for Concha y Toro – a company that evidently doesn’t like to rest on its laurels. Not only did the group invest in a series of major marketing campaigns to drive brand awareness and recruit new consumers but it managed to achieve annual sales of US$1.018 billion (£65m), ensuring the company broke through the billion-dollar mark for the first time, having sold 33.2 million cases in 2014. The UK, in particular, had an exceptional year with volume sales up by 16.9% to 6.5m cases. Casillero del Diablo broke into the market’s top 10 wine brands for the first time and the Cabernet Sauvignon is now the UK’s number one selling brand in this grape variety. Meanwhile, Cono Sur saw a volume increase of over 94% and Trivento over 200%. However, it was the opening of Concha y Toro’s Centre for Research and Innovation in Chile that particularly impressed the judges. Dedicated to fostering a more sustainable future for the wine industry, the company has made an initial investment of US$5m (£3.2m), to focus on the analysis of all aspects of healthy vine production, the development of new technology to increase product quality and the efficient integration of technology into winery practices.  And thankfully, the facility is for the use of the industry, not just Concha y Toro.

Shortlist

• Liberty Wines

• Pol Roger Ltd

• Viña Concha y Toro

• Bibendum PLB Group

• Maverick Drinks

Independent Retailer of the Year

db Awards 2015_HEL7887 copy

Tatiana Fokina of Hedonism Wines

Winner: Hedonism Wines

Since Hedonism Wines burst on to the London drinks retailing scene just over two years ago, much of the focus has been on the high-priced labels on sale in its Mayfair shop.

However, as the judges observed, this store really deserves recognition for the unrivalled quality of its fine wine range, particularly from California, as well as the quality of its merchandising, high-profile events, Enomatic tasting machines, electric delivery vans and attentive nature of its staff, who speak 14 languages between them. The whole place is, as one judge said, “head and shoulders above other wine retailers”. It’s also, as another judge stressed, “not just another luxury retailer – it’s a bit edgy”.

Helping the operator stand apart is, of course, the sheer size of its range, which has grown by 5,100 lines since the store opened, making the full range over 12,000 lines, ranging from £5.40 to £127,000. In the past year Hedonism has served over 10,000 customers from across the globe, processing over 40,000 transactions, and shipping bottles to 38 countries. 2014 saw a dramatic increase in footfall through the Mayfair shop, with the average number of customers per day rising to 90 and hitting 300 at Christmas time.

Runner up: Vagabond Wines

The judges also wanted to recognise Vagabond Wines for its clever merchandising, take-away shelf-talkers, in-store sampling, and general ambience, created by the presence of comfy leather sofas and chunky farmhouse tables. They were also pleased to see that a third Vagabond store is opening in Old Spitalfields Market, followed by another two in the near future.

Shortlist:

• Hedonism Wines

• Highbury Vintners

• Vagabond Wines

• The General Wine Company

• Master of Malt

Leave a Reply

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

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager

James Eadie Ltd
London, UK

Wine Ambassador Role

Ramón Bilbao UK
London, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager

Top Selection
London, UK

Assistant Retail Manager

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

Marketing Manager

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, GB

Commercial Analyst

ATOM Group
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Customer Service Executive

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

HR Administrator

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Trade Marketing Manager

Australian Vintage Limited
Croydon, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more