Woodwinters ramps up wholesale focus with new London office

Woodwinters plans to open a new London office to create a wholesale operation across the UK.

The company, which was originally set up in 2005 by Douglas Wood, is a Scottish fine wine merchant with three retail shops in Edinburgh, Bridge of Allan and Inverness. It also has a wholesale and private client division importing wines from all over the world and specialising in wines made from organic and biodynamic styles from family-run wineries.

The new office will be headed up by Andrew Johnson, who has recently joined Woodwinters having left one of London’s leading fine wine merchants, where he held the position of sales director. The London unit will service restaurants, independent merchants and private clients.

Wood said: “We have grown the agency side of our business over the last five years with 90% being sold in Scotland. In order to look after those agencies well we need to look at the UK as a whole which this partnership allows. It will also enable us to bring more new exciting wineries that we have long wanted to but not had geographical coverage to be able to do until now. With low overheads and an incredibly focused team we will bring a different angle to the traditional wine agency model.”

Johnson said: “Over the last six months, I have been looking for a new challenge and was flattered when Doug asked me to be his business partner in setting up a new London office for Woodwinters. I have known Doug for nine years now and have always had a lot of respect for what he and his team have created. While I was considering this project, it wasn’t until I tried their portfolio on a joint visit to Vinitaly that made me fall in love with their portfolio, which I truly believe is bursting with unique wines and integrity. I couldn’t be more excited about what I feel we can achieve in the years ahead.”

The company’s turnover to the end of 2015 was £4.5m, with 75% of that coming from the wholesale division, while 25% came from the three retail shops and the private client division. A total of 90% of this turnover is within Scotland. The company has 25 employees and the portfolio comprises 2,000 stocked wines of which there are 60 exclusive agency producers offering 350 wines. 

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