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Roberson Wine celebrates 25-year evolution on anniversary

Published:  24 November, 2016

Roberson Wine is celebrating a 25-year evolution from iconic independent to a wholesaler and importer.

Twenty-five years ago this week, founder Cliff Roberson opened the doors to Roberson Wine's flagship store in the heart of London, and is today (November 24) celebrating the company's changing role and achievements in championing the UK wine market.

Back when it was known for being a fixture on Kensington High Street, the company garnered a reputation for fine wines, pioneering the 'New Wave California' and wine on tap.

Last year, they responded bricks and mortar pressures by closing down their High Street Kensington store, instead switching to focus on their B2B offering.

They are still very much a part of the trade, having produced and released the 2015 vintage of London's "first and only winery" at the London Cru winery in Fulham last week.

Roberson said his vision over the past two-and-a-half deacdes has been to provide value and service, adding: "I am interested in being interesting. That is why I like doing things that are different and new. If we can't interest ourselves, we can't interest other people. Repeating the same old stuff is boring, which will in turn make us as a company boring. Originality is stimulating to both the player and the audience."

To mark the occasion, the company is holding a series of multi-channel sales today, and is looking back on its achievements via a series of blog posts on its website.

Looking back, Roberson's sales director Matteo Lupi highlighted how times have changed - although some things have come full circle.

"We had a range of lively wines on's remarkable that 25 years later I'm selling wine on tap again."

Speaking of the casual dining boom, he said: "The UK restaurant trade was very different than it is today; it was a time when a three course dinner at a top Mayfair restaurant would set you back £80 including wine and service. Mind you, not many people in England would have been able to pay that kind of money; not because they didn't want to, but because there were only seven Michelin restaurants in the whole of England...

"In those days wine lists in restaurants were very different too. My list was 60% French to 20% Italian, with the rest of the world fighting for the remaining 20%. There was no Greek, no eastern European, no Austrian wines. Picpoul de Pinet was falling out of favour against wines like Pinot Grigio and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which were about to flood the market. Cava and Prosecco were almost unheard of."