Berkmann bolsters Eastern Med offering

UK drinks distributor Berkmann Wine Cellars has bolstered its Eastern Mediterranean wine offering with new agencies as demand for the region’s wines grows.

Speaking to the drinks business at the company’s portfolio tasting earlier this month, purchasing director Alex Hunt MW, said that the wines from Greece, Georgia, Turkey and elsewhere, combined, “the allure of the exotic with a deep sense of the authentic”.

The recent addition of Emma Dawson MW and Guillaume Kerambrun to the team had led to several new listings covering, two Greek producers, one Turkish, one Georgian and one Lebanese (Château Ksara as of 1 February) and even adding an Armenian label wouldn’t be a stretch – though Hunt said they hadn’t “yet” found the right partner.

Hunt continued that demand for these wines was beginning to filter out of purely national restaurants and it helped that “the quality now matches the history” of these wine regions which form the “cradle of viticulture”.

The expansion of its Eastern Mediterranean portfolio as well as bolstering its Italian and Australian offerings with new additions such as San Leonardo and Brash Higgins was also important for Berkmann and the on-trade it predominantly supplies, Hunt continued, because more than ever restaurants and bars need to offer an “exceptional experience”.

There is no doubt the current economic and political climate is creating some choppy conditions for the on-trade and there have already been a number of notable closures in London this year.

“High profile closures and setbacks underlines the need for exceptional experiences at whatever level you operate,” said Hunt.

“Let it be an adventure,” he continued, speaking of what bars could offer customers and why a “more adventurous offering” from companies like Berkmann was important.

“We’re here to deliver. “Let it be an adventure and if we can contribute something to that we’ll be in good shape,” he said.

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