This week saw the announcement that Friarwood Fine Wines has been appointed as the London distributor for Exton Park. The Hampshire wine producer’s approach to distribution has seen them focus on securing the right partnerships to form a localised distribution network across key wine-trade regions. This, in turn, creates many new opportunities in securing the very best hotel and restaurant listings, as well as well as bringing Exton Park’s superb English sparkling wines to new drinkers up and down the country.
Exton Park Vineyard, the award-winning 55 acre single-estate producer in Hampshire has appointed the prestigious independent wine merchant Friarwood Fine Wines as their London-based distributor. This agreement covers London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Bath in NE Somerset, along with Friarwood’s retail shops in Fulham and soon-to-open Wimbledon.
Exton Park’s full range of distinctive and elegant wines will be taken by Friarwood, which includes their three core Non-Vintage cuvees – Brut Reserve, Blanc de Noirs, and Rosé – as well as their two gold-medal-winning special cuvees.
Head Wine Buyer Auriane d’Aramon says of the latest addition to the Friarwood portfolio: “English wine has recently seen a surge in popularity with consumers across the country, and the quality has improved hugely over the last few years. We are exceptionally excited to be one of the UK distributors of Exton Park Vineyard’s exquisite sparkling wines. These are the first English wines in our portfolio, and we look forward to sharing them with our customers.”
Commenting on the appointment, Exton Park’s Sales & Marketing Manager, Kit Ellen, said: ‘We have been looking for the right distributor in London for some time, but when we met the dynamic team at Friarwood, we knew we had found the right home for our wines. They totally understand the Exton Park philosophy and positioning. Already there is synergy with a number of London restaurants, and we look forward to a long and profitable partnership as we build the brand and gain new listings together.’
This appointment completes a successful six months of developing a network of regional wholesale distributors for Exton Park’s wines around the UK – all of whom are independent merchants. Distribution agreements have also been tied up with Cambridge Wine Merchants in East Anglia, Amps Fine Wines in Northamptonshire, Stainton Wines in Cumbria, Corks Out in Cheshire, the Oxford Wine Company in Oxfordshire, Butlers Wine Cellar in Sussex, and Stone, Vine & Sun in Hampshire. The latest agreement, recently announced, was in Scotland, with leading wholesaler Inverarity Morton.
‘These partnerships around the UK offer us some very exciting opportunities at both regional and national levels’, Kit Ellen continues. ‘It also highlights that there is a clear demand for English Wines, and an awareness from consumers of the kind of quality and stylistic variation that can be achieved in this exciting category. We are planning a great year of trading, with a continued focus on the prestige on-trade and premium, independent off-trade. Corinne Seely, our Head Winemaker, and I will be travelling to tastings and events up and down the country, to support our new partners and to effectively communicate the message about our pioneering wines; our focus on terroir expression; and our commitment to produce the very best quality English Sparkling Wines from our single-vineyard.’
‘We believe that we are one of very few English Sparkling Wine producers to sell our wines in this way – which allows us flexibility, and an appreciation of our style at all levels, and in all places. The new partnership with Friarwood will give us exactly that – in a very important market place.’