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Harrods new Fine Wines and Spirits Rooms aims to educate and ‘break down barriers’

Published:  19 April, 2018

Luxury department store Harrods has reaffirmed its place as one of London’s premiere destinations for fine wines and spirits after unveiling its multi-million pound renovation.

Following speculation that the Knightsbridge store was due to pull out of fine wines and spirits, the famous department store has bounced back with its enlarged and updated Fine Wines and Spirits Rooms which are divided into three sections: wines, Champagne & sparkling wines and spirits.

The rennovated area, which took two years to complete, has a new focus on education, with several interactive elements and a new Education Room featuring live streaming to vineyards and winemakers.

Last night’s video-link up showed Minervois producer Gérard Bertrand’s top vineyard Clos d’Ora.

The department has also switched up its focus from specific categories and brands, instead categorising by flavour profile, and in the Fine Wine room “by terroir”.

Alex Dower, director of food and restaurants, who joined Harrods last year, said the new features, including aroma tables where visitors can explore different scents, will help to “break down barriers and change perceptions of the world of wines and spirits”.

“We a have 133 year history as a wine and spirit merchant, and many of the brands you see tonight have been with us throughout that time,” he said at last night’s event.

“We are 100% committed to providing the best products deep-rooted in provenance and maintained by our temperature controlled rooms. But the most important change is the educational aspect and the incredible interaction we can provide to help customers access new wines and spirits and new flavours.”

The new rooms also feature several display areas for partner and sponsored brands.

In the whisky section, this is comprised of five international leaders Suntory, Glenfiddich, Dalmore, Macallan and Glenmorangie.

The Champagne section is dominated by leading LVMH Champagne labels Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon and Champagne Joseph Perrier - one of the smaller Grande Marques houses.

Harpers spoke to several of the profiled producers, including Zoran Peric, Suntory global brand ambassador and Martin Gamman MW, UK market manager at Champagne Joseph Perrier who both agreed the focus on education and the interactive retail set-up was part of the draw to become an integral part of Harrods’ fine wine and spirits section.

Several premium beers including Brew Dog and Harrods own brand of lager, Harrods 1849, can be spotted on shelves; while a backroom is dedicated to cognac leader Louis XIII’s first boutique outside of Beijing.