Meet a new name in the independent wine market – one with a track record spanning four decades
Vintrigue Wines is a new name, but the business behind it has been around for 40 years.
As the new indie specialist division of Lanchester Wines, Vintrigue believes it can offer a blend of precision and scale with an offer aimed squarely at the independent trade.
Lanchester Wines, an independent family-owned business, is best known for its work in the multiple and wholesale trade. “But that doesn’t tell the whole story,” says national account controller Steve Machin.
Vintrigue, he explains, showcases not only “all of our fantastic agencies” but also some of Lanchester Wines’ gift products and the beers produced by its Full Circle Brew Co.
“We’re a dedicated and specialist team,” Machin adds. “We focus on the producers and ranges which are perfect for indies – premium by nature with a boutique feel.”
Director of sales Mark Roberts says the wine range has been created partly as a result of conversations with some leading independent retailers and will constantly evolve as trade and trends develop.
“We began developing Vintrigue four years ago and since then we’ve deliberately started to source more premium agency wines, securing exclusives with exceptional agencies and recruited highly experienced people within the business,” he explains.
Wine buying is a team effort, with director of purchasing Lesley Cook making the final call.
“The range is adapting and growing,” adds Roberts. “I think the line-up is very well balanced – whether it’s our high-altitude Argentine Malbec, High Side; or whether it’s the Ventopuro range from Chile’s Matetic; or Tombacco, our Italian agency who produce stunning wines … the list is a long one.
“It’s very specialist, and very focused. Because we’re family-owned, we can be very flexible and quick to adapt. I would say the Vintrigue wine range is curated by trade feedback.”
Vintrigue is based in the north east of England but works with customers across the UK and Ireland. It promises a pragmatic approach to minimum orders. “At times like this, you’ve got to have a healthy dose of common sense, and we’re applying that here,” says Roberts. “We want to help the sector.
“One of Vintrigue’s biggest strengths is it don’t just have wine on offer – we know independent stores offer more than just wine, so we’ve mirrored this and integrated craft beers and gifting into the Vintrigue portfolio.”
Commitment to sustainability
Lanchester Wines is a carbon neutral business, and says that this “is just the beginning” of its quest to be sustainable. Following an £8.5m investment, the company’s buildings are powered by wind and solar energy. There are four wind turbines on site, a 41kW bank of solar panels – and a pioneering heat pump system, drawing water from disused mines to heat its warehouses.
Full Circle Brew Co
Full Circle is a 30hl craft brewery, tap room and canning line in Newcastle, wholly owned by Lanchester Wine Cellars and headed up by Ben Cleary. There are three beers in the core range: Hoop American Pale Ale; Looper IPA; and Repeater Session IPA, with seasonal beers available throughout the year.
Through its sister business, Spicers of Hythe, Vintrigue has access to a range of gifts, hampers and white-labelled products. The most popular is Bottle ‘n’ Bar – 5cl spirits encapsulated in single-origin chocolate.
Feature sponsored by Vintrigue Wines.
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