28th February, 2017 by Arabella Mileham
UK drinks supplier Conviviality has added Graham Norton’s wine brand to its portfolio, along with those of Norton’s New Zealand producer, Invivo.
Invivio’s Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron with Graham Norton
Invivo, which collaborates with Graham Norton on his brand, was the first NZ producer to establish an equity crowdfunded winery, having been launched by co-founders Tim Lightbourne and winemaker Rob Cameron in 2008.
Available from next month, the Graham Norton range will be available to the on-trade through Matthew Clark and to the multiple retail sector through PLB. Invivo will be available to independent retailers and regional wholesalers through Walker Wodehouse.
Norton launched his own brand in 2014, working closely with Invivo to select the blend from various tank samples. The range comprises a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, a Shiraz and a rosé, with wines now exported to five countries.
The brand won the most successful consumer launch in Ireland in 2016.
The chat show host met the winemakers after they started to supply his UK TV Show “The Graham Norton Show” in 2011.
Invivo’s wines come from Central Otago, Marlborough and Gisborne. Last year the Invivo duo acquired a historic winery in Auckland, which had been built as the country’s first viticulture station in 1902, allowing it to boost production to around 12,000 bottles a day.
Winemaker Cameron said Invivo was very excited to be partnering with the team at Conviviality and promised “fun activity” to support its customers.
“Their extensive UK coverage in multiple channels allowing greater access for the British public to Graham’s wines and Invivo,” he said. “Over the years we’ve done some hard yards building up the brand. When we achieved our first national retail listing, Tim and I hired a car, put a logo on the side and attempted to visit every store in the country over a couple of months. It’s great to now see a company like Conviviality coming on board with us.’
Andrew Shaw, group buying director for Conviviality said the wines have already had significant success in the UK and it looked forward to building on this through the various channels. “The Graham Norton wines offer excellent quality alongside a great brand proposition and we are looking forward to maximising the opportunities this presents us with,” he said.