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Red Squirrel Wine shows expanded range at second annual tasting

Published:  07 September, 2016

Off the beaten path wine importer Red Squirrel Wine poured 173 wines from 46 producers, of which 73 were new wines and 14 were new producers as the company expands to meet growing demand.

"The last year has been controlled chaos.  When we were looking at expanding, it is hard to not get a bit greedy.  You have to be selective though and finding something new and exciting is the fun bit.  But we need to be clear what that wine does for us and we have to stick to our plan.  It is so easy to get lured into taking on another great wine.  We don't want to import something just for the sake of it.  We need to be quite steady," said Red Squirrel buyer Rob Woodhead.

Woodhead said that they were looking to add a few more wines and found some producers in the South of France, South Africa, Australia and Italy that were producing wines that fit in well with the Red Squirrel's ethos and its portfolio.

"We added a few new wines from the South of France. But we are looking for wines that either are native grapes varieties or the wines are something that is rare and unusual.  So I found a fantastic Malbec from Cahors.  I went to the South of Frances and was able to find four producers one of which has instantly become a best seller," said Woodhead.

According to Woodhead they are looking to possibly continue to expand their range as they find more wines that really excite them but potential producers need to fit in with what Red Squirrel and its founder Nik Darlington are trying to do.

"In the future we may be looking to add a few more Italian wines.  We have some great organic wines from Valdonica- the wines are just wonderful. A lot of the producers we are working with have the same ethos as us.  Some are organic or minimal interventionists.  I have some ideas of where I want to look next but it is about finding the right wines, the right producers and at the right time. We want to find people who get us excited, but also who are excited by what we are doing," said Woodhead.

Despite the busy year though Woodhead was encouraged by the turn out of the tasting.  He said: "The tasting has the same vibe as last year- which is having some great and interesting producers showing their wines.  It is just a bit bigger this year. It is definitely encouraging and we are really lucky to have such a loyal base of customers."