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The amazing thing about running your own company is that you’re always doing something new and last week there were a few ‘firsts’ for me.
Firstly, we completed a short promotional film to give an introduction to our brand in a quick and visually appealing way. I had no idea how much music made a difference to visuals and how images can have such an impact in explaining your brand. You can watch the film here and see what you think for yourself.
Secondly, on Wednesday, I was invited to the IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Competition) Awards, where I’d been nominated for the Julian Brind Memorial Trophy For Outstanding Achievement in the Wine Industry 2018. Whilst I was hugely honoured to have been nominated, I was quite relieved I didn’t win, as I feel like a little bit of a fraud considering that I believe I still have so much more to learn about this industry I’ve dropped myself in.
The third and final first of last week was our very own wine launch. As regular customers will know, we’ve had several wines available since we began in 2016, but we thought the introduction of our Sicilian Grillo was worthy of some fanfare. So with guidance (and a lot of hard work) from the lovely team at Belleview Collective we transported ourselves, plus several boxes of wine, to the glittering lights of London and, more specifically, to Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen, the fabulous restaurant run by Enzo Oliveri on Panton Street.
We were honoured to have an amazing selection of well-known journalists and bloggers who spent the evening with us learning more about our Grillo from drinks educator Christopher Cooper from Drinkonomics, as well as eating some of the finest Sicilian buffet you’re ever likely to try courtesy of Enzo and his team. On top of that, there was several hours of top-notch chatting and it was lovely to meet so many people who love trying and talking about good wine and food.
I enjoyed it so much it made me think that we should be working towards having a launch event every week, but before that I’m concentrating (or worrying, depending on my mood) about some more firsts, but I’ll save those for a future blog.
You may remember that earlier this year we launched a fundraising campaign with leading LGBT+ youth charity Just Like Us. We promised we would donate the profits from every box of our Falanghina white wine sold in Waitrose stores and online between June and the end of August, to assist in the charity’s mission to enable teachers and pupils across the country to tackle bullying by organising activities that celebrate LGBT+ equality in education.
Earlier this week, I was delighted to have the opportunity to present Tim Ramsey, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, with a cheque for £3,118. As a start-up and small player in the world of wine, we were delighted with this result and so were Just Like Us. A big ‘THANK YOU!’ to all of you who purchased a box (or boxes!) of Falaghina over the summer months.
We hope that in coming years, as our number of stockist and customer base increases, we will be able to do more for charities, whilst at the same time enabling more and more of you to enjoy our fabulous wines.
Boxes of our Falanghina are available from over 230 Waitrose stores across the country, including the John Lewis Foodhalls on Oxford Street and in Bluewater and can also be purchased online at waitrose.com.
Thank you again to all of you who helped us help Just Like Us.
This time of year is one of the busiest for our producers. Granted, most of them would argue they’re always busy, barely taking a day off throughout the year to constantly keep a close eye on the vines and doing everything in their power to ensure a bumper crop the following autumn.
But harvest time is special. It is crunch time, what everyone has worked towards for the whole year and many will call the harvest a celebration. As Antonella Porto of La Fortezza, our Falanghina and Aglianico producer says; “At our vineyard, even today, the harvest is considered a party, a real moment of joy.”
The harvest is hard work, with extended teams of ad-hoc workers joining the producers and their families, picking for around seven hours a day over a period of two to three weeks, depending on the size of the vineyard. Harvest time varies for the When in Rome producers, with Cantina Sociale Sant’Antonio, our Sicilian based producers of our Nero d’Avola and Grillo, having already finished their harvest weeks before the producers of the north have even dared think about picking their first grape.
Good news! Early feedback from our producers is that 2018 has been a good year and this year’s crop is looking very promising. We’ll be able to taste for ourselves quite soon, but if our producers are excited before they’ve even made the wine, we think that’s a very good reason to be excited about tasting it!
There’s nothing quite like coming back from a Sunday morning run to find the All Saints sipping on your one of your wines! I’ll be honest, it wasn’t something we knew was going to happen, which made it all the more exciting. First I was tagged in by a friend on Facebook saying that our Falanghina was on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch show and then it all went a little crazy for a while. Online orders started whizzing through (that’s not something we see very often early on a Sunday) and Facebook and Twitter started going berserk.
Of course what the All Saints and several hundred thousand viewers discovered is what so many of you already know, that box wine really is not what it used to be. This is quality wine, that lasts for up to six weeks once opened and it’s better for the environment. It also happens to be available around the country in most larger Waitrose stores.
Now it’s time to see if the All Saints want to take some Falanghina on their next tour. Cheers.