Amathus invests in Sales & Marketing excellence to hit its next milestone of 100m by 2019

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Harry Georgiou, founder-CEO of Amathus Drinks Plc, continues to strengthen his new executive team with the appointment of not one, but two Sales & Marketing Directors – Fraser McGuire and Simon Bradbury.

Comments Harry: “Since our acquisition of Bablake Wines last year, we’ve now got a national footprint but we’re still very specialist and I felt we needed two heavy hitters to bring the Amathus brand to a national customer base.” Explaining his plans, he continued: “This puts us on course towards our next milestone of £100m in sales by 2019. Fraser’s well respected in the on-trade and brings huge energy. Simon brings a great record and a fantastic knowledge of the off-trade. It’s a dream team for me and I’m delighted they’ve come on board.”

Simon Bradbury has spent more than 25 years in the Drinks Industry most recently holding senior positions with Enotria and Codorniu Ravenous. He said “I am joining Amathus at a hugely exciting time with ambitious growth plans and relish the opportunity to build on our strong core business. There are new regions we want to move into and with our excellent portfolio of exclusive wines, spirits and beers we can offer a real quality alternative.”

Fraser McGuire is a 20-year industry veteran and held senior positions with Enotria and Whyte & Mackay. He said, “I’m really thrilled to be joining Amathus at this time and driven by Harry’s vision Amathus has established itself as a leading player within the Premium On-trade in the UK. Amathus is a family owned, forward thinking, decisive & nimble company, which I believe will help give us the edge within an industry where the landscape will continue to evolve through wholesaler consolidation.”

Commenting on the consolidation in the sector throughout the last 12 months, Harry said: “The Bablake Wines acquisition enhances our reach. We want to take our brands to a national customer base. I don’t wake up thinking about being the biggest. But I do get excited about developing undiscovered niche categories in spirits such as Mezcal, Aquavit and Pisco in the UK. And in recent years we have earned respect in developing new and emerging wine regions as diverse as the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan with its Koshu, to Greece’s trending varieties such as Assyrtico.

The appointments follow David Smith in the Finance seat a year ago, as part of Amathus’ drive to its next milestone of £100m revenues.

The Georgiou family grew Amathus from start-up to £40m revenues to earn an uncontested position in the front ranks of the specialist on-trade. Headquartered in Park Royal, it has warehouses in Coventry and Bristol and a substantial delivery fleet capable of supporting small independents to servicing wholesale customers. It also has 4 distinctive wine and spirits boutiques aimed at knowledgeable drinkers and the trade. In 2015, it acquired Bablake Wines for cash. Group revenues now exceed £60m.

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Gins to the World!

Soho gin collection

Gin lovers of the world get ready as World Gin Day returns for its eighth year running on Saturday, 11th June. World Gin Day is a global celebration of all things gin, where for one whole day we have the best excuse to drink plenty of gin!

Whether you like the traditional G&T, mixing it in a cocktail or served over ice – there’s so much choice out there, which gin do you pick? As its World Gin Day, we’ve chosen our favourites from all over the world… from the Netherlands to Germany, Spain and Sweden; it’s time for you to discover a world of amazing gin!

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Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin is fun, delightful to the palate and offers all spirit enthusiasts among us a product they can play with, experiment with and be proud to have added to their collection. Infused with carefully hand-picked Riesling grapes from the steep shale slopes of the Zilliken estate, make this gin an impressively unique tasting experience.

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Meet the delightful Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin – a balanced blend of botanicals – juniper, rosehips, cloves, lemongrass and cubeb peppers amongst others, create this extremely unique gin from The Netherlands.

Bobby’s is at its best in a Bobby & Tonic, served over ice and garnished with an orange peel studded with cloves.

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On the island of Hven located in the strait of Öresund between Denmark and Sweden lies the Spirit of Hven Distillery. Their Organic Gin is a true handcrafted distilled gin produced from the finest quality organic grain spirit infused with fresh botanicals.

The result is an outstanding luxury gin with the delicate aromas and taste of citrus, juniper and grains of paradise – pushing the quality & taste one step further, above the rest! Best served on ice with lemon and tonic or on its own with a splash of water.

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Established in 1880, Rives have been making their Special Gin in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain since 1980.

Rives Special Gin is a super-premium handcrafted gin, with a unique taste that will blow your mind! The careful selection of 11 botanicals, naturally harvested from around the world, creates a powerful and complex flavour that is guaranteed to wow you all!

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Following the traditional London Dry gin style, A.v.Wees produce this smooth gin, distilled with just 2 botanicals – juniper berries and lemons. Although the recipe sounds simple, you’d be surprised how flavourful this Dutch gin really is. It mixes extremely well in cocktails and makes a very impressive Dry Martini! It just shows that sometimes keeping it simple is key!


So in a world with so many different types of gin from here, there and everywhere – it’s no wonder we need a day dedicated to celebrating this great spirit.

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An Italian tradition of making liqueurs & bitters since 1870

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Recently Matteo Meletti, producer of the wonderful Meletti Liqueurs and Bitters, paid us a visit and what a week we had planned for him – from staff & customer training’s to cocktail competitions & masterclasses here, there and everywhere!

The Meletti family has been producing extraordinary handcrafted liqueurs and bitters for generations. Silvio Meletti started the company in 1870 when he endeavoured to produce an anise-flavoured liqueur that would rival or surpass the best products of Italy and France.

As with any great product, the quality of the ingredients is what sets the best above the masses, that’s why Meletti selects only the finest herbs and botanicals to create all of their products – Sambuca, Anisetta, Amaro & Limoncello.


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On Wednesday the 11th May, following Matteo’s arrival in London on the Monday, we’d organised a very special masterclass & cocktail competition at Loves Company in Shoreditch. We called upon all restaurants/bar owners, bartenders and anyone else working in the trade to come along and taste, as well as learn about all the Meletti products from Matteo himself.

The masterclass was followed by a very impromptu cocktail competition, where everyone who attended the masterclass could experiment with the Meletti products in cocktails, with the added bonus of winning some prizes. We knew we were in for a treat with bartenders attending from some of the coolest bars in London, including LeBab in Marylebone, Art Club & Shoreditch Grind.

The only rule that applied was the use of at least one of the Meletti products in each cocktail, the rest of the ingredients was entirely up to them. We stocked the back bar with plenty of ingredients for them to use as well, including Rives Gin, Cartron Liqueurs, Tovaritch! Vodka, Ron Barceló and many more…

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As usual the competition was very high but in the end, we managed to narrow it down to one lucky winner. Congratulations to the winner Jay, who is actually one of the bartenders at Loves Company – don’t worry it wasn’t a fix!

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He amazed the judges with his Bramble Boozecencello cocktail, made using Meletti Limoncello, Rives London Dry Gin and Cartron Crème de Mure. Fabulous!


After the cocktail competition had finished, it was straight on the tube and off to our Soho shop to get ready for Meletti masterclass number 2. This time, it was open for anyone to attend & again on tasting was the Sambuca, Anisetta, Amaro & Limoncello.

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What a great day out with Matteo Meletti, thank you very much for hosting both of the masterclasses for us & for being one of the judges of the cocktail competition. A special thank you also goes to Loves Company for letting us take over your bar.

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Easy Spring Cocktail Ideas

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It’s Spring time, the sun is out (well kind of) and it’s definitely the start of better times to come. As we leave the dark and miserable winter weather behind us, we can start to emerge from our hibernation and begin spending more time outside.

When the sun’s out, there’s only one thing that springs to mind.. a BBQ! So if you haven’t whipped out the barbie already, I’m sure you’re checking your diary as we speak. With BBQ’s in mind, it’s time to turn your attentions away from the heavy reds and go for something that’s a bit lighter, fresher and crispier to drink. What else could be more fitting than a couple of cocktails?

So get your shakers at the ready, your cocktail making lessons start right here:


 

Elderflower Daiquiri

ELDERFLOWER DAIQUIRI
Spice up your life!

Ingredients

35ml of Ron Barceló Gran Anejo
20ml of Joseph Cartron Elderflower Liqueur
5ml of Joseph Cartron Orange Curacao Liqueur
2-3 drops of pimento extract (or Tabasco)
15 ml of fresh lime juice
1/2 a bar spoon of white sugar
Pulp of 1/2 a passion fruit

Simply shake all the ingredients together then filter into a cocktail glass with a strainer. Decorate with half a passion fruit sprinkled with pimento. It’s fresh and fruity with a definite kick!


 

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GREEN NIGHTS
Cocktail making made easy!

Ingredients

35ml of Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
20ml of Joseph Cartron Elderflower Liqueur
15ml of fresh lemon juice
2 slices of cucumber
3 basil leaves
1/2 a bar spoon of white sugar

Again shake all the ingredients together.. but be careful with this one, we don’t want to crush the ingredients. Once shaken filter into a rock glass with ice and garnish with a basil leaf and a couple of slices of cucumber.

Served with or without food, this cocktail is a great all-rounder, helping with that transition from Winter to Spring to Summer.


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MADEMOISELLE
Oh yes please!

Ingredients 

30 ml of Château du Breuil Calvados VSOP
20 ml of  Joseph Cartron N°7 Liqueur
20 ml of fresh lemon juice
20 ml of Teisseire Gomme Syrup
1 egg white

First of all don’t be alarmed by the egg, you don’t need to be a bartender to use them in a cocktail. So with this one, the same as the ones above, pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Shake then filter twice before pouring into a chilled cocktail glass. This is where your artistic skills come in, garnish it with a fan of green apples.


 

COCKTAIL BY JOSEPH

   BY JOSEPH
One of your 5-a-day!

Ingredients

4 white Grapes
40ml of Joseph Cartron Eau-de-Vie de Poire Williams
20ml of  Joseph Cartron Crème de Pêche de Vigne
20ml of lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
2 coffee spoons of Madagascar Vanilla sugar

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous then this is the cocktail for you! Start by crushing the grapes in a shaker, add the rest of the ingredients, shake then pour into a large glass. Fill up the glass with crushed ice and garnish with a fresh vanilla pod and a skewer of white grapes.

For the best flavour, make sure you serve it immediately.


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PE PLUM
Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhum Agricole!

Ingredients

40 ml of Rhum J.M XO
15 ml of Joseph Cartron Crème de Mirabelle
20 ml of fresh lime juice
10 ml of barley water

Rum lovers, if you haven’t already, you need to try this Pe Plum cocktail. It’s fresh, lively and will certainly get everyone’s taste buds tingling! Once more, it’s easy to make and tastes fantastic. Simply pour all the ingredients over some crushed ice and for that added effect serve it in a Tiki style glass, like the one above. To garnish, you’ll need a bunch of mint, a slice of lime and a sprinkle of almonds. Delish!


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Spread the #AmathusLove!

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This Valentine’s, we wanted to spread the love and offer one lucky person the chance to win a bottle of the delicious Nicolo & Paradis Cuvee Rosé NV. It was really simple to enter, all you had to do was complete the Valentine’s classic; Roses are red, Violets are blue.. The only rules that applied were; no copying the original or pinching it from a fellow poet!

After 3 days of entries (some were very amusing I have to admit) we had the difficult decision of deciding who would be the lucky winner. So… congratulations goes to Anyslie McKeith, who stole the show with:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I didn’t get flowers,

just a trip to B & Q

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We’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone else who took part, here are a few more of our favourites that didn’t quite make the cut:

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Discover what you should be drinking this Valentine’s Day!

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With Valentine’s Day hot on our heels it’s time to get the ball rolling and put those thinking caps on. I mean what do you buy a loved one? Which fancy restaurant do you take them to? So many decisions to make and only 4 days to go until the big day!

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to Valentine gifts, chocolate and flowers are nice but the way to someone’s heart is definitely something delicious to drink. Whether you’re staying in or going out, you’ll need something special to open that is guaranteed to impress your date!

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of one thing and one thing only.. fizz and lots of it. Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco, English Sparkling or something a little different from Greece or Luxembourg – there’s no better way to get in the romantic mood than opening a bottle or 2 of bubbly!

So with fizz in mind (and also to help you out of course), we’ve put together a list of our top 5 favourites, which we’ll definitely be cracking open on the day!


 

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Every girl loves a bit of pink, so what better way to steal her heart than with a bottle of Nicolo & Paradis Cuvee Rose NV. It has delicate notes of cherry with aromas of strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Not only does the bottle look good but it tastes absolutely delicious! It’s a Valentine’s gift far better than any chocolates or flowers!

 

Blanc de Blanc

The Bluebell estate lovingly nurture their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape vines to produce sparkling wines that evoke fresh, natural reminiscent of the Sussex countryside.

Bluebell Blanc de Blancs 2011 is rich, bold and bursting with fruit character. It has aromas of apple, lemon and honey with flavours of orange blossom and peach – all balanced by fresh zesty acidity and a long impressive finish. If you want a sparkling wine with a big personality then this is definitely the one for you!

 

Val d'ocaThe Val d’Oca winery is located in the surrounding hills between Conegliano Asolo and Treviso in Italy. Established in 1952, the winery is fully committed to producing wines of the highest quality… and that they do!

Their Prosecco Valdobbiadene Millesimato 2014 is fantastic! It’s light and delicate with fresh aromas of wild flowers, apple, pear and honey. If you’re cooking up an Italian feast or swaying more towards ordering a curry in, then this prosecco is the ideal accompaniment for both.. and once more it won’t break the wallet!

AMALIA-BRUT

If you feel like pushing the boat out then why not try something a little different. What about this Tselepos Amalia Brut NV from Greece? It’s an elegant sparkling wine with a light, yellow-green colour and fine bubbles with intensity and length. Aromas of rose petal, brioche and honey are lifted by a refreshing welcomed acidity.. delicious!

A01040 Cuvée de l'Ecusson Brut Rosé Pinot Noir 75 cl

If you like the idea of trying something a bit different but a sparkling wine from Greece doesn’t quite tickle your fancy then what about a bottle of Bernard Massard Rose Cuvee Ecusson from Luxembourg?

This unique, vibrant and juicy rose offers delightful aromas of red apple, waxy peach and lemon zest. It’s medium bodied, with a creamy mouth-feel and friendly bubbles. Honey-crisp apple and melon flavours lead to a dry, palate-cleansing finish. This Cuvee is one of beauty, so it’s no surprise to us that it’s been recognised as one of the best wines in its category. This is a true indication of the amazing wines Luxembourg has to offer. If it was me, I’d definitely save this one until last. It’s a definite Valentine’s show stopper!


For those of you who want to run a mile at the mention of this day, don’t panic because each of the sparklers above can be enjoyed just as much with a couple of friends.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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Ones to watch in 2016..

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With Christmas and New Year out the way it’s time to look ahead at what’s to come in 2016. January is supposed to be the month to relax and take it easy before all the madness starts again, but we’re way too excited to find out what’s in store for the drinks industry in 2016. Whether it’s a new product entering the market or an entirely new brand, we can’t wait to find out exactly what they are!

So let’s delve straight in and see which spirits and wines are on the rise and which ones we should expect to see more of, on the shelves and behind the bars.

Gin

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Gin has definitely been the show stopper of 2015, with an ever growing range of new brands gracing the market. From the classic London Dry to the not-so-classics, made from all sorts of weird and wonderful botanicals. Sometimes even we find it hard to keep up!

The gin category is currently growing by 6.6% and is showing no signs of putting the brakes on and slowing down. As the category continues to grow, we’ll be experiencing greater things from this spirit with even more new and exciting gins set to appear on the market soon.

It’s going to be another, very very exciting year for gin and we can’t wait to see what’s to come!

Aquavit

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With aquavit gradually appearing in more bars across the UK, 2016 is expected to be its year! Aquavit, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a Scandinavian spirit distilled either from grain or, more commonly, potatoes. To make it a bit simpler, think of it as a flavoured vodka.

In Scandinavia, aquavit is generally drunk neat, chilled or at room temperature but in the UK, aquavit is already showing signs that it can work well in mixed drinks and cocktails. Bartenders are already switching their gin in a Negroni and vodka in a Bloody Mary for a spicier kick that comes from using aquavit.

We’re one of the leading suppliers of aquavit in the UK so why not give some of our brands a try. Choose your favourite between: Linie Aquavit from Norway and Aalborg Aquavit from Denmark. If they don’t tickle your fancy then don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more aquavit for you to try.

Vodka

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Over the last year or so, vodka has taken a bit of a back seat after struggling to keep up with the growing popularity of spirits with more unusual flavours. However this year, vodka is said to be making a comeback with a steady flow of new premium brands, with an added edge, entering the market. Vodka is definitely fighting back to regain its status right up there, next to gin… watch out!

Mezcal

 

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One of the most noticeable new trends in the UK spirit market is the rise of mezcal and we’re certainly very proud to have the best and most exclusive selection of mezcal available in the UK, including Del Maguey, Los Siete Misterios and Pierde Almas.

This new found love for mezcal has definitely taken people by surprise, considering not that long ago barely anyone had heard of this wonderful Mexican spirit. In an interview with the Morning Advertiser our Brand Champion and mezcal connoisseur, Jon Anders gives his take on this mezcal epidemic.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘Mezcal is the big one. It happened almost overnight, two or three years ago no one had heard of mezcal, now you can get it in bars all over the country. It taps into the same trend that gets people interested in whisky, as there are so many different expressions out there. It’s a premium spirit, we sell small volumes but consistently, which is over the odds for a high price imported spirit’.

‘People will be willing to search out places that serve drinks that have that authenticity and quality. They’re willing to learn, they read about something on the internet then they want to come to the bar and try some of the drink they hear about, to experiment’.

In 2016 we expect to see an even bigger rise in the popularity of mezcal, with more bars and restaurants making sure they’re stocked up!

Tequila

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Tequila is not just for traditional margaritas and shooters anymore. It’s a widespread spirit that can be purchased today, in most bars, clubs and restaurants. Tequila has an enormous history with the demand for the spirit still growing fast. Now, with so many players in the tequila game, tequila trends have been bigger than ever. New drinks and cocktails are frequently being developed with the vast selection of tequila brands and types that are now widely available.

Tequila has definitely earned a new name for itself as the world continues to discover the many things that it has to offer. It is certain that it won’t be losing any of its steam anytime soon!

Vermouth

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Back in the eighties, every household had a bottle of vermouth stashed away in the drinks cabinet. But vermouth quickly fell out of fashion and was only ever used as an ingredient in the odd cocktail or two. Now it’s making a comeback, quickly becoming one of the most ‘on trend’ things you can drink. The classic version of vermouth was always dry but the category is slowly expanding with sweet and much more herbal versions now existing.

The demand for vermouth from bartenders is also rapidly increasing. It’s becoming one of the key ingredients in the ever growing cocktail culture as cocktails like the Manhattan, Negroni and Martini have started to become fashionable again…Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and every bar and restaurant should definitely have it at the top of their drinks list!

Contratto  offer a fantastic selection of vermouth’s, including a bianco, rosso and americano rosso.  The Contratto Vermouth recipe dates back to the early 19th century and is based on a combination of white wine, Italian brandy and over 50 delicately infused natural herbs, spices, roots and seeds. This traditional process is used to create a sophisticated elixir and a complex and well-balanced boutique aperitif that will make any vermouth based cocktail an exceptional experience. Give them a try!

Japanese Whisky

 

Hibiki Japanese Harmony

 

All over the world, people seem to be going mad for Japanese whisky. The growing popularity of Japanese produce in bars and restaurants has meant that Japanese whisky is in higher demand than ever before.

The story of Japanese whisky goes back about 90 years and owes its existence largely to two people – Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru, who founded the distilleries behind the two largest producers – Suntory and Nikka. It’s crazy to think that it was first distilled in the 19th century but took up to the 21st century for the wider world to catch on as these days people can’t get enough.

With a growing trend of consumers that want more unique and exotic products, we expect that the demand for Japanese whisky will continue to increase well in to 2016.

Something a little different for your mixer

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Consumers are continuously looking for new and exciting tonics to go with their spirits. They want something different, with an interesting flavour that is nothing like the ones you can pick up from any supermarket or corner shop.

Ferdinand’s has definitely hit the spot with their recently released Doctor Polidori dry and cucumber tonics.

Doctor Polidori’s Dry Tonic is infused with herbal essences, making it an aromatic filler for your favourite spirits. Herbal notes of basil and thyme combined with exotic notes of spicy cubeb pepper and instantly recognisable juniper make for a very interesting character.

Their cucumber tonic on the other hand is not equipped with the usual citrus aromas but instead, exciting cucumber notes. This tonic works spectacularly in a G&T, providing a refreshing and vibrant experience!

Greek Wines

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Greek wines may be the most underrated on the planet. Why is a mystery, as the Greeks have been making wine since around 2000 BC. Certainly, the quality of Greek wines has improved dramatically since the 1980s, but this is the case for all winemaking countries… isn’t it?!

Over the past few decades a big shift has taken place with a reduction in overall vineyard area. This has resulted in fewer bulk and table wines being produced, which has actually lead to the rise in numbers of quality producers and boutique wineries.

This is exciting as the trends show that people are looking for cool, unusual grape varieties from emerging winemaking countries. White Greek grapes like Assyrtiko and Moschofilero and reds such as Vradiano and Agiorgitiko may not roll off the tongue but they are high quality grape varieties that are now being used to create complex, food friendly wines.

This trend is expected to continue well into 2016 so a continuous increase in the popularity of Greek wines looks very promising. So as you can probably predict, we can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for some of our Greek wines producers, like Vrinioti and Tselepos. Exciting times!


If you would like anymore information on any of the products above, please visit our website or pop in to one of our stores.

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