Benchmark Drinks to manage Graham Norton wines

Invivo has appointed drinks distribution firm Benchmark to manage sales of Graham Norton’s wine brand in the UK and Ireland.

Graham Norton teamed up with New Zealand wine producers Invivo to launch the brand in 2014, and is personally involved in selecting the blend from tank samples alongside Invivo’s founders and winemakers, Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, who say their wines are made from “grapes, time and two maxed out credit cards.”

The range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Shiraz and soon to be released Prosecco. Each year the Invivo team meet with Graham to choose the blend and release a video from the session.

Norton’s wines have proved successful in international competitions, with his Sauvignon Blanc picking up a gold in the drinks business’ Sauvignon Blanc Masters this year.

The newly formed Benchmark Drinks is led by ex-Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma along with a team of industry executives with experience managing leading brands in the UK wine industry.

Invivo cofounder Tim Lightbourne said: “We’re looking forward to working with Benchmark and taking the Graham Norton brand to the next level in the UK and Ireland. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities in the market on the back of the brand’s fantastic growth. We would also like thank the work PLB has carried out managing the brand over the past 18months.”

Benchmark Drinks Managing Director Paul Schaafsma said: “We are thrilled to be appointed distributors of Graham Norton brand in the UK and Ireland. Benchmark Drinks and Invivo have a shared passion for innovation and building market leading brands. Our ambition over the next three years is to continue the exciting and positive momentum of the Graham Norton wines.”

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