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Bancroft picks up Brokenwood from Negociants UK

Published:  26 July, 2018

Bancroft Wines has picked up the distribution of quality Australian wine estate Brokenwood Wines following the merger of Negociants UK into parent company, Fells.

Bancroft Wines has become the exclusive UK agents for Brokenwood Wines, which was founded in 1970 as a hobby venture by three Sydney-based solicitors, Tony Albert, John Beeston and Australian wine critic James Halliday.

Brokenwood has since become known for its Cricket Pitch label, sourced from a 4-hectare block at the foothills of the Hunter Valley’s Brokenback Ranges, which was earmarked as the local cricket ground.

Its flagship, Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, and its whites from the Hunter Valley have also garnered acclaim.

Bancroft takes over from Fells subsidiary Negociants UK, which folded in May following the addition of iconic Aussie estate, Yalumba.

Some estates followed Negociants UK managing director Simon Thorpe MW, who joined Fells as commercial director.

Jim Barry Wines went to Hallgarten, while others, including Brokenwood, Rockford and Chaffey Bros., were left to find new homes.

“Brokenwood grew from a family-and-friends winery into a world-class operation and one of Australia's most respected producers,” said Bancroft Wines’ buying director Barney Davis.

“It is testament to Iain Riggs’ talent and competence that throughout their expansion they have managed to remain fiercely committed to producing such unique and high-quality expressions of Australian terroir. We look forward to building a long-term partnership with them in the UK”.

Based in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Brokenwood’s strategy has grown to sourcing wines from other key regions, adding McLaren Vale in South Australia, Beechworth in Victoria, Margaret River in Western Australia and Orange in New South Wales to their portfolio.

Riggs is the estate’s managing director and has also seen 35 vintages at Brokenwood as chief winemaker.

White wine has become a significant part of the total production during that time.

In 1982, Riggs introduced winery equipment and facilities to make premium white wine including Brokenwood’s Semillon which has become its calling card.