The international export market is a core component of Hattingley Valley’s strategic distribution model with strong ties being formed around the world. Early success in Norway and Sweden has recently been supplemented by exciting new relationships in Australia and the U.S. Hattingley Valley now exports to 14 countries placing us at the forefront of the English sparkling wine scene overseas.
Hattingley Valley’s Sales and Export Manager, Gareth Maxwell, has successfully secured exclusive distribution of Hattingley Valley in the US with Valkyrie Selections. Valkyrie is a young, dynamic company with a nationwide network of distributors. It is one of the new wave of importers that is exceptionally competent in selling niche products. Hattingley Valley is the first English sparkling wine in its portfolio. Maxwell says “it was great to visit their operations in San Francisco and Los Angeles [February 2017] to launch our portfolio to the trade as well as to some of the market’s distributors.”
The San Francisco tasting was held at the Press Club – a hip wine bar and lounge soon to stock Hattingley Valley. Head winemaker, Emma Rice, was on hand to help Gareth with the keen interest in our wines. The Los Angeles tasting held at République, a boutique bar/restaurant also resulted in another listing for Hattingley Valley.
English wine has recently made trade press headlines in the U.S. With such interest in the category, Emily Peterson, Chief Strategy Officer at Valkyrie, says, “We look forward to seeing similar enthusiasm and demand from consumers. Right now, the category is a novelty and an attractive scoop for journalists and a discovery for sommeliers. English wines offer great quality that stand up to benchmark sparkling wines from other regions, invariably offering relative good value.”
Like Hattingley Valley, Valkyrie is a young, dynamic business so it is very appealing to work in partnership. The distributor covers the whole of the U.S. marketplace so we will be able to gain greater traction in the U.S. as our relationship evolves. Valkyrie also sees the benefits of the partnership with Petersen adding “We are excited to be at the ground level of introducing English Sparkling wines to a broader, receptive audience and to be working with Hattingley Valley that makes some of the very finest English sparkling.”
Hattingley Valley’s wines are distributed by CellarHand in Australia. CellarHand is recognised as one of the leading importers in Australia with unsurpassed routes to the country's top sommeliers.
The official launch took place in December 2016 with Emma Rice, head winemaker and UKVA Winemaker of the Year (2014 & 2016), showing our portfolio to CellarHand staff and their key trade accounts in Sydney and Melbourne.
CellarHand has a great reputation within the trade and has secured Hattingley Valley several premium listings including Melbourne’s City Wine Shop and restaurants like The European and Gertrude Street Enoteca – the first to pour our Classic Cuvée by the glass.
The Australian launch was well –received by the general public and the trade. Esteemed Australian wine writer, Max Allen, reviewed our range of sparkling wines in The Australian Financial Review with the Blanc de Blancs “[having] beautiful aromas of elderflower and lightly buttered toast, with elegant richness and a hint of Marmite.” Allen sums up: “Bloody marvellous.” With recognition like this we feel positive about our future down under.
Wine expert Mike Bennie (The Wine Front) reviewed our sparkling wines for his December 2016 publication with each wine scoring at least 90/100 points. In describing the 2013 Rosé, Bennie writes, “Acidity is ultra perky, it’s all red apple and white strawberry in the palate… The wine is powerful, racy and very refreshing. The finish is so good – like a sip of fresh grapefruit juice.”
Hattingley Valley identified a natural fit in partnering CellarHand with energy and passion evident at both companies. CellarHand also sees the synergy between the businesses; director Patrick Walsh comments “We’re thrilled to be working with Hattingley Valley. It’s exciting to introduce our customers to wines of provenance and pedigree. English wines are something of a rarity in Australia, but there is a growing recognition of the quality coming from top estates like Hattingley Valley. These wines fit with the CellarHand ethos and slot neatly into our portfolio - they clearly express their origin, are beautifully composed and lovely to drink.”
Strong international relationships are as important as having quality products to achieve success in export markets. Walsh adds, “The humour, love of wine and unbridled ambition of the Hampshire team adds an important dimension to our relationship. These qualities translate into the wines and in turn will be appreciated by Australia’s world-class dining scene.”