Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

St Austell's Brewery appoints first exclusive wine buyer to drive more sales

Published:  13 March, 2015

St Austell's Brewery has promoted Louisa Fizpatrick to the newly created role of wine buyer, in recognition of her hard work and expertise and extensive knowledge of the wine world.

St Austell's Brewery has promoted Louisa Fizpatrick to the newly created role of wine buyer, to underline the company's commitment to the wine side of its operation.

Fitzpatrick has been with the business - which still trades under the name of its original founder Walter Hicks & Co - since 2005. Most recently she was the wine sales manager, and will continue to focus on the company's growing wine range.

"While wine has always been a core part of the company's business, the huge success of the brewery's beer has tended to overshadow that, and my promotion is a way of putting more focus and attention on wine," Fitzpatrick said.

The company portfolio comprises over 750 wines, including fine Burgundies and Bordeauxs and around 200 own-brand wines, and Fitzpatrick says that such an extensive range of wines demands a more customer focused approach. "We want to respond more readily to the differing needs of our customers, and for them to regard us as a wine merchant and not just a brewery," she added.

Starting out as sales development manager for West Cornwall, Fitzpatrick soon became wine development manager for the Cornish beer and wine specialists which is one of only 30 independently family owned brewers in the UK. In 2010, she completed the Diploma of Wines and Spirits and was awarded a Scholarship for the Master of Wine qualification as well as the Fortified Wine Scholarship. A year later, she took on a wine sales manager role, heading up the wine division at the company and now has overall responsibility for the Walter Hicks wine portfolio.

"It's a real honour to be offered the chance to take on a portfolio with such a long heritage as Walter Hicks," said Fitzpatrick. "We have such a diverse range of amazing wines and I see my role as that of a custodian, ensuring the quality of our existing range and then finding the outstanding stars of the future to ensure our customers get the widest choice of the best products to suit their business."

Ian Blunt, St Austell Brewery sales director said she was a natural choice for the appointment. "She knows our business inside and out and her knowledge of the market is impressive. We know we have an excellent portfolio, but Louisa's insight means we can now be much more customer focused and ensure we can continue to grow our business with their needs at the forefront of our buying decisions," he said

Jeremy Mitchell, St Austell's director of marketing and communications said she had built up a very good relationship with wine growers, suppliers and customers. "She has also made the whole wine buying selection process so much more accessible for our customers," he added.