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Matthew Clark boosts wine reputation and sales

Published:  11 February, 2014

Matthew Clark is growing its wine business as more on-trade customers seek it out for a broader range of wines.

Wine controller Laurie Davis told that changing perceptions with top end wine customers had helped win business. "In some of the accounts we've won over from previous years are more high profile wine groups that previously didn't see us as a wine supplier but rather as good all-rounders with a wine element.

"Winning these accounts and growing our portfolio from strength to strength with independent and boutique wineries has helped. The new skus have been brought in to close the gap in the portfolio."

The firm said its business was growing slightly ahead of last year, after having picked up some of the WaverleyTBS business last year as well as new accounts. Davis added that it would be "challenging" to maintain such growth given the continuing consolidation within the sector.  

Davis said star performers in the portfolio included the sparkling category, which had experienced "tremendous growth". He added that Champagne was now beginning to have a comeback, but that Prosecco was still very strong.

As for countries, Davis said the south of France is strong, and singled out the Languedoc as being "amazing value for money". He tipped Spain for further success as grape varieties from there are "getting more airtime and visibility" with the growth of Spanish restaurants, tapas and Cava bars, as well as consumers trying varieties outside of the norms of Tempranillo and Albarino.

He added that Pinot Noir is the biggest selling red variety, while its white cousin Pinot Grigio/Gris is the bestseller all round.

Matthew Clark's annual wine tasting 'Discover the Unexpected' kicks off on March 18, 2014, at London's Tobacco Dock.

If you'd like to read more about what Laurie Davis has to say, go to our Q&A section.