US shipper Vine Street Imports embarked on a whirlwind tour of English wine country with the British Bottle Company earlier this month to support the category’s snowballing momentum in what has become English Sparking Wine’s most important export market.
The visit by Vine Street Imports’ president Ronnie Sanders and sales manager Aaron Meeker saw them hosted by Hush Heath Estate in Kent, Bolney Estate, Digby Fine English in Sussex and Camel Valley Vineyards in Cornwall. Since their launch in the US late last year, these four wineries are now distributed via Vine Street Imports across more than 20 states.
The five-day itinerary saw a programme of vineyard tours, blending sessions and new vintage tastings interspersed with the very best of British hospitality, from Cornish pasties in Padstow to classic pub lunches and traditional afternoon tea.
The team also tasted a selection of wines from new producers with Advisory Board member Hugh Johnson at 67 Pall Mall, as the company considers options for developing its portfolio further in the coming year. Other plans include bringing over representatives from the US trade later in the year to experience English wine country at first hand, while each producer will be making a return trip in 2017 to support their wines in the market.
Complementing this unrivalled English wine portfolio, Vine Street Imports and The British Bottle Company will introduce a duo of British spirit stars – Pinkster and Boxer gin – to the US later this year.
The British Bottle Company was founded three years ago by CEO Red Johnson and manages exports for more than 20 British wine, spirits, cider and beer brands, shipping to countries on every continent.
Pictured: Padstow – Ronnie Sanders, Camel Valley owner Bob Lindo, Aaron Meeker