Freixenet Copestick signs distribution deal with The Garage Wine Co.

30 March, 2021

Freixenet Copestick has expanded its portfolio by signing an exclusive distribution partnership with Chilean producer The Garage Wine Co.

The firm recently purchased online retailer Slurp and on-trade supplier Jascots Wine Merchants, giving it multiple routes to market in the UK. It will sell Garage’s wines online via Slurp and into the on-trade through its Jascots business, while its in-house sales team will target independent retailers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

“Our UK group is now wonderfully diverse, so we can be confident of success with a wider variety of suppliers,” said Robin Copestick, managing director of Freixenet Copestick, which is the UK arm of Henkell Freixenet.

Garage is based in the Maule Valley in southern Chile, where it is renowned for producing high-quality wines from old vines spread across exciting regions such as Truquilemu, Sauzal and Calivoro.

Bibendum previously distributed the wines in the UK, but Garage felt that Freixenet Copestick could take it to “new heights”.

Owner Derek Mossman-Knapp said: “We were not looking to make a change in distributor, we have spent the last few years getting closer to the farming, but when I met Robin in Chile, and he spoke of what Freixenet Copestick is up to in the UK, I was energised.

“I know how online wine business are getting suppliers closer to customers, and how quickly they are growing. It is a great opportunity to be involved with Slurp. And Jascots will give us the focus in the on-trade, where we have been strong in the past in normal times.

“Additionally, the Freixenet Copestick sales team will find us more opportunities with the indies. We have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and knowledge on our video tasting calls. The whole team has become famous for their entrepreneurial spirit.”

Copestick believes Garage’s wines are a perfect fit for his growing organisation. “They‘re game-changers,” he said. “We already overtrade in Chile and these wines were so unique that I could just sense the opportunity. They will complement the wines that we already ship from Chile and grow the category with South American old vines.

“I was impressed with the way Derek and Pilar [Miranda, Mossman-Knapp’s wife] do business. It goes beyond the certifications of the day – they fundamentally believe business can be a force for good. Not only are they making wine in a sustainable way, but they support the farmers and local communities. They seek to create excellence over short term gains.”

The team at Garage plans to unveil a new project soon. “There will be exciting news soon about a project we have begun in times of Covid and together with Freixenet Copestick we shall take this to new heights,” said Mossman-Knapp.

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