When ASC Fine Wines began business in 1996, China was not yet on the wine world’s radar screen; however, founding partners like Bollinger and Beringer believed in Don St Pierre Sr. In its first full year of business, ASC sold only 4,000 bottles. Today, St Pierre and his 41 year old son Don St Pierre Jr sell 5m bottles through seven warehouses in over 100 cities, accounting for roughly a fifth of all imported wine by value. Two years ago, they set up operations in Macau and have opened an office in Hong Kong, where Joel B. Payne spoke to Don St Pierre Jr.
Bernard Magrez is an unusual figure in the world of alcoholic drinks. He has not only personally created leading brands in both wine and spirits, but has also recently launched a new form of wine globalisation, in the shape of a collection of more than three dozen super-premium, limited production wines from numerous countries, all sold under the Magrez brand.
Vertical integration, an old business idea, has become a popular turn of phrase at conferences these days. Although Hawesko and its subsidiaries do not control production in the way Pernod Ricard can, they manage every other layer of activity on wine’s way to the client in its largest market, Germany, from being an importer, wholesaler and direct marketer to the owner of the country’s largest retail wine chain.
While the early success of the Torres brand was created and built by his father, Miguel Torres Carbó, in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was Miguel Torres Junior who gained an international quality reputation for the family company. His winemaking techniques revolutionised both the Spanish and subsequently Chilean industries and his pioneering of single-vineyard wines opened the way for many of Spain's highest profile modern examples. Meininger’s spoke to him about his plans for the future.
Mariann Fischer Boel is certainly the most powerful woman in the wine world. As the European Commissioner for Agriculture, she oversees 2.4m farmers who produce 60% of the world’s wine on 3.6m hectares of vineyards. She also controls the purse strings of an annual budget of €1.3bn...and has powerful connections.
Dan Jago has been the head of Tesco's Wine, Beer and Spirits division for 18 months. One of WalMart's major global competitors, Tesco dwarfs the American giant when it comes to wine. Robert Joseph spoke with him about his plans.
He's the distributor who launched two of the biggest wine brands ever to hit US shelves; Georges Duboeuf and Yellow Tail. He's also known for his attention-grabbing promotions and his ability to pick winners. Feliciy Carter asks Bill Deutsch how he does it.
Paul Henry became general manager of market development at the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) at a critical time. The AWBC, along with the Winemakers Federation of Australia, created Directions to 2025. Robert Joseph and Paul Henry discussed the document.
International Wine Associates (IWV) is an investment advisory and corporate development firm based in the California wine country that offers worldwide services to leading wine industry players. Robert Joseph spoke to Robert Nicholson, the man behind IWV, about where the wine industry is going next.