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Vega Sicilia signs distribution deal with Berkmann Wine Cellars

Published:  25 January, 2021

Legendary Ribera del Duero winery Tempos Vega Sicilia (TVS) has recruited Berkmann Wine Cellars (BWC) to take on the exclusive distribution of its portfolio to Great Britain and the Channel Islands. 

The new partnership will take immediate effect, covering distribution for both the on and off-trades in GB. 

The partnership marks a change of agents from former distributor Fields, Morris and Verdin (FMV), which has distributed TVS’s icon wines Único, Único Reserva Especial and Valbuena 5º for many years. However, Berry Bros. & Rudd, parent of FMV, will continue to import the wines directly for sales to their private clients.

Max Lalondrelle, managing director for fine wine buying at Berry Bros. & Rudd, made reference to a review and consultation with Tempos Vega Sicilia over their GB strategy.

He said FMV is ‘proud’ to hand over trade distribution to Berkmann Wine Cellars, which he believes “will be an excellent partner to take on FMV’s good work over many years and its strong UK distribution network for these wines”.

Alex Hunt MW, purchasing director of Berkmann Wine Cellars, added: “It is an immense privilege to be embarking on this partnership with one of the world’s greatest wine producers. Despite their august history and seemingly unassailable reputation, Vega Sicilia strive for continual improvement with an open-mindedness and energy that keep them way ahead of the game. The Álvarez family’s achievements are remarkable, and they are an inspiring addition to our portfolio of pioneering producers. As optimism starts to return to the trade, we are very much looking forward to writing the next chapters of our history in partnership.”

Bodegas Vega Sicilia was founded in 1864 at the western end of what is now the Ribera del Duero DO. Over a hundred and fifty years later, the estate sits at the very top end of Spanish wine category, having carved out a top tier for wines that have become standard-bearers for their appellation around the world. 

Under the ownership of the Álvarez family, which bought the estate in 1982, the company established several new bodegas, including Alión, also in Ribera del Duero, Pintia in Toro, and Macán, a joint venture with Edmond de Rothschild in Rioja. The family also invested in Tokaj following the end of communism, founding Oremus there in 1993.

“Great Britain is a key strategic market for Tempos Vega Sicilia,” Antonio Menéndez, general manager of Tempos Vega Sicilia, said. “We truly believe BWC will take our wines to the next level in terms of distribution in on and off premises. The main priority for TVS is to ensure that our wines are properly delivered to all British customers and the BWC team offers us this possibility.”