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Hatch Mansfield welcomes new Portuguese agency

Published:  15 December, 2021

UK importer Hatch Mansfield has expanded its portfolio with the addition of Portuguese wine brand Esporão.

The first Portuguese label to be represented by Hatch Mansfield, the Herdade do Esporão estate was brought by José Roquette and Joaquim Bandeira in 1973. After investing heavily in the property, the duo launched the Esporão label in 1985.

It has grown into a major brand with a global reach, exporting to over 50 international markets.

In 2008, the company expanded into the Douro valley after buying Quinta dos Murças, which produces both port and table wine.

The owners subsequently purchased the Quinta do Ameal estate in the Vinho Verde wine region in 2019.

According to João Roquette, chief executive and son of company founder José, Esporão has become a leading advocate for environmental sustainability in Portugal, converting all its vineyards in the Alentejo region to organic farming in 2019, with its vineyards in the Douro valley following suit this year.

He commented: “We are excited to start this new cycle in the UK with such a strong partner like Hatch Mansfield. The fit between our companies’ family values, quality focus and vision are unique, and we believe that, together, we will make the most of the current positive momentum for Portuguese and organic wines in the UK.”

Hatch Mansfield will take over the role from 1 April 2022, with Esporão joining a portfolio that has grown over the past three years to include Piedmont stalwart Gaja and Argentine brand Zuccardi.

The winemaking team has been headed up by Australian-born David Baverstock since 1992, however, Baverstock is leaving the firm this month.

Instead, the team welcomes Sandra Alves as the winemaker director at Herdade do Esporão, while José Luis Moreira da Silva oversees production at Quinta dos Murças and Quinta do Ameal.

“I am delighted to confirm that from 2022 Hatch Mansfield will be representing Esporão in the UK across all channels. The Roquette family are visionary in their approach to winemaking and marketing and we look forward to working closely with them,” said Ben Knollys, MD at Hatch Mansfield.

“Esporão have a range of exceptional wines, made in a really modern style and we believe this new addition will be a great fit for the Hatch Mansfield portfolio. With so much new interest in the Portuguese wine category from UK wine drinkers we’re thrilled to partner with such a dynamic team and are excited about the potential of these excellent wines.”