Grape Britannia on winning Decanter Best English & Welsh Wine Specialist

We caught up with Matt Hodgson of Grape Britannia after his monumental win to become the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards Best English & Welsh Wine Specialist. We’ve been collaborating with Matt for nearly a year now, and it has been particularly impressive to see Grape Britannia emerge as one of the brightest sparks in English wine retail. Here’s what Matt had to say about his win.

Congratulations on winning the 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards Best English & Welsh Wine Specialist. Did you expect to win?

Matt: It’s only 15 months since we launched Grape Britannia, so we had no expectations, only hopes. When we submitted the application, we hoped that we might get shortlisted. Then, when we got shortlisted alongside four other fantastic wine merchants, including Waitrose, for the English & Welsh Wine Specialist award, we hoped that we might at least get runner-up. To actually win is incredible – we’re still pinching ourselves!

Why did the Decanter Award judges choose Grape Britannia?

Matt: We didn’t get detailed feedback, but the awards are judged on Quality, Value, Range, Service, Innovation and Performance, so we must have impressed them across these aspects. They’re all characteristics that we focus on ourselves. The quality of our wines is paramount, and our range unparalleled, with over 200 English & Welsh wines in stock.

Are you going to have any celebration offers for customers?

Matt: Yes, we’ve decided to offer a whopping 50% off the first case for those signing up to our subscription plan, which delivers six exceptional English wines, including two English Sparkling Wines, every three months. The first case is only £60.

What does the award mean to you?

Matt: We feel incredibly humbled to have won this category and obviously delighted that the hard work we’ve put into building the business over the past year has paid off with this recognition. Hopefully, it will be a platform to wider recognition amongst the public – Decanter is the country’s (and world’s) leading consumer wine media brand, and also that it will give us even greater credibility in the wholesale and corporate account space.

How will you be celebrating the win?

Matt: With over 80 English Sparkling Wines at our fingertips, we’re spoilt for choice! We’ll probably dig out one of the library stock bottles that we’ve managed to persuade our vineyards to sell to us.

What will you be doing over the next year to try to retain your crown?

Matt: Focusing on those criteria of Quality, Value, Range, Service, Innovation and Performance. In terms of the wine range, we are going to refresh and enhance our English Sparkling Wine offering, bring even more red wines in, and offer some very limited-edition wines that normally can only be purchased at cellar doors.

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