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Connoisseur Estates to unveil new M?ori winery at SITT

Published:  19 February, 2016

UK wine agency Connoisseur Estates is to launch its latest premium wine signing, New Zealand producer Tohu, at SITT in Manchester and London next week. 

UK wine agency Connoisseur Estates is to launch its latest premium wine signing, New Zealand producer Tohu, at SITT in Manchester and London next week.  

Founded in 1998, Tohu was the first M?ori-owned vineyard in New Zealand. It is situated in the Awatere Valley, at around 200m above sea level.

Tohu is committed to the sustainable use of ancestral lands, which is part of the M?ori tradition of kaitiakitanga, the guardianship of natural resources.

Tohu's wine range consists of single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir, all of which retail at £13.99.

Tohu's sister brand, Aronui Wines, which retails at the same price, uses grapes from the Whenua Matua vineyard in the Upper Moutere in Nelson and includes a Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and an Albariño.

The winery also has a limited-edition reserve range, which includes an oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs and Noble Riesling.

Andrew Steel, founder and head of Connoisseur Estates, said:  "With all the changes taking place in the retail landscape right now in the UK, independents have a golden opportunity to enhance their position and that is why we are increasing our offer to them by adding to our range with Tohu, which we will be showing for the first time at SITT next week."

Connoisseur Estates has also announced two new key appointments to service its fast-growing client base in the the independent sector.

Aroniu single-vineyard Albariño from Tohu

Tom Barton joins as sales manager for the South of England, while Stuart George has been appointed to develop the company's business in the Central London retail sector.

Barton has ten years' sales experience, including spells at Codorníu and Berkmann. George has worked in the premium wine business for some 20 years.

Steel said: "With premium quality wine, excellent customer service and true value for the consumer, in my view the independent sector is poised for excellent growth this year and we are ready to help them achieve it."

Connoisseur Estates was founded by Steel in 2002.

Alongside its portfolio of premium wines from independent producers around the world, it also works with clients to develop own-brand labels, marrying high-quality packaging design to wines bought directly from producers in Italy, France, Spain and the New World.

It supplies wholesalers, cash-and-carry groups and smaller, independent specialist retailers.

Connoisseur Estates's premium portfolio has a strong Old World bias, but also includes Oldenburg Vineyards from Stellenbosch, Argentina's Gauchezco Wines, and cool-climate southern Australia winery Sidewood Estates, alongside the likes of Château d'Anglès from La Clape in the Languedoc and Champagne Autreau.