Rosé and orange wines led Berkmann’s summer sales

Premium Provence rosé, orange wine and a red and white from Portugal’s Dão region were among the best-sellers on Berkmann’s pop-up online wine shop, Help 4 Hospitality.

With the rosé boom showing no sign of slowing, M de Minuty proved a hit for Berkmann during lockdown

Having been almost entirely focused on on-trade sales, Berkmann pivoted to direct to consumer sales during lockdown, launching the online wine shop on 2 April.

The store, which closed its virtual doors on 31 July, helped to raise £75,000 for the struggling hospitality industry.

In keeping with the current rosé boom, Berkmann’s best-seller via the platform was M de Minuty Provence rosé, while Whispering Angel was the firm’s fourth most popular drop.

Prunus from Dão was among Berkmann’s top wines this summer

“The rosé category has exploded this year, helped by the good weather, and we’ve found customers were particularly interested in premium rosés from Provence,” said Berkmann’s director of purchasing, Alex Hunt MW.

One of the biggest surprises for Hunt in terms of wine sales was how popular the Portuguese wines in Berkmann’s range proved, with year on year sales up by 400%.

Among those piquing consumers’ interest were a Vinho Verde and a red and a white from Dão.

“Portugal seems very much here to stay. Wines that we found relatively difficult to sell outside certain niches five years ago were among the most popular in our online shop.

“The combination of deliciousness, value and adventure that Portugal offers has really won consumers’ hearts,” Hunt said.

Another strong performer on the Help 4 Hospitality website was orange wines. Sales of skin contact whites have shot up by 141% at Berkmann, albeit from a low base.

Wines from the Eastern Mediterranean countries of Turkey and Greece also enjoyed strong sales on the online platform as consumers seek to broaden their wine horizons.

“This year was the first time Berkmann went direct to consumer in any significant way. We look back on this with a certain amount of surprise that such a large organisation could reinvent itself as a micro start-up – it was both stressful and exciting,” Hunt admitted.

To help keep the on-trade moving, Berkmann has just launched a range of 14 wines a rung above entry-level specifically for the hospitality sector. The company has also launched a web portal exclusively for independent merchants featuring a tailored range of 300 wines.

“We haven’t done much pruning of our range yet, if anything it has increased a bit. We’ve just taken on Champagne Jacquesson and want to be on the front foot for the long term. We have a really good range to sustain customers through all kinds of turbulence,” he said.

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