DB Awards 2016: a report on the winners

Drinks Company of the Year

Concha y Toro Ben SmithWinner: Concha y Toro UK

Concha y Toro UK was voted the winner for its standout performance in 2015 – the most successful year in the brand’s 15-year history. “The business made some tough decisions a few years ago and its new strategy from 2013 has paid off. It has had an exceptional year, and it is now home to the UK’s best selling Cabernet, Malbec and Pinot Noir,” enthused one judge.

Its flagship brand, Casillero del Diablo, achieved sales of 1.9 million 9-litre cases equal to over £100m in retail sales and representing a volume growth of 18.3%. The brand also enjoyed success with its Sky Movies partnership.

“With its high profile sponsorships, this company is investing in its brands in the challenging UK market, and, at a time when retailers are promoting own label wines, Concha y Toro UK is spending big to make their products must-stock brands,” said one judge.

Liberty Wines David Gleave MWRunner up: Liberty Wines

Our judges felt Liberty Wines deserved recognition for its sustained growth, training academy and the fact that 2015 was its best year for new business.

“Liberty Wines has enjoyed 19 years of growth and has generated a profit in every year of its existence; it’s a massively impressive company,” said one judge.

Michael SaundersSpecial commendation: Bibendum PLB

Judges awarded a special commendation to Bibendum PLB, which recently re-launched its spirits agency Instill to incorporate craft beer and cider, and Walker & Wodehouse, which sells to independent merchants.

The past year has been an enormous year for Bibendum PLB, which has undergone a massive integration process, and yet has managed to keep its business steady in a market that’s declining,” one judge pointed out.


The shortlist:

  • Bibendum PLB Group
  • Concha y Toro UK
  • Liberty Wines
  • Treasury Wine Estates

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