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Trade says fond farewell to Hallgarten Druitt co-founder

Published:  19 November, 2019

One of the UK’s largest and longest-standing suppliers has paid tribute to one of its luminaries, who has passed away after a short illness.

Michael Druitt, who had a long and upstanding career as “one of the big characters of the London restaurant and wine scene” and was known for helping to write a key chapter in the history of what is now Hallgarten & Novum Wines, has passed away.

The man who put the Druitt in Hallgarten Druitt spent 60 years working with some of the top restaurants and hotels in London and around the country.

He also had a longstanding association with Champagne and Bollinger in particular, thanks to his move to Mentzendorff in 1962 as a director.

As founder of Michael Druitt Wines, he was among the first to introduce wines from Canada, California, South Africa and New Zealand to the UK.

From there, his London sales team and many of his suppliers joined Hallgarten and the company was renamed Hallgarten Druitt to reflect the expanded business model.

Today, MD Andrew Bewes paid tribute to a man who helped usher in the ‘modern era’ of Hallgarten & Novum Wines.

“In his heyday Michael was undoubtedly one of the big characters of the London restaurant and wine scene and even today many of his customers have great stories to tell of their time working together,” he said.

Speaking of the photo supplied by Hallrgarten, Bewes added: “This is a one of our favourite pictures taken in 1975 with Michael Caine and featured in the first edition of Decanter magazine. Michael will be affectionately remembered by all who knew and worked with him.”

Druitt passed away peacefully on October 16.

He leaves behind his wife Dorothy and children Miranda, Chris and Caroline. His son Jeremy, who also worked in the wine trade, died in 2018.