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Five minutes with Jaime Wynne-Griffiths

Published:  18 March, 2021

When Jamie Wynne-Griffiths, founder and MD, Propeller and Wild Ferment, sought to pivot lost business to connect the producers he represented with the indies, Propeller was born, facilitating direct supply in partnership with EWGA bond. 

“I was doing quite a bit of intro-ing, like a matchmaking service for producers that want to get into the UK and generally that was targeted towards wholesalers that had quite a big on-trade presence. Obviously in March that snuffed it, but the producers I was talking to could see the retail explosion. It also got me thinking, from experience at Bibendum and Enotria, that having an agent, even in happy pre or post-Covid times, isn’t necessarily the silver bullet. Agencies fail for no good reason. Wines can get lost in a telephone directory, even of wonderful wines. 

“There are more and more producers out there with lovely wines and, as importantly, indies with huge shelves and a thirst for quirky, challenging and esoteric wines. And there seemed to me to be a bit of a bottleneck, because they couldn’t get to those indies without an agent. Or that was the assumption. But it doesn’t have to be like that. 

“We realised we needed to get these wines into indies, so Propeller was born. I needed the walls and wheels, an agile, privately owned bond that would work in partnership, to ensure we all had control and could offer that service. This model had never been done before and needs a personal relationship. And it’s been flying. We’re just bringing over 11 wines from seven MOVI (Movement of Independent Vintners) wineries that have never been here before – properly boutique-y, quirky, brilliant wines, a pallet each, and its great for indies to have the wines here.”