Paul Schaafsma outlines vision for Broadland Wineries
English wine is now considered so classy and fashionable that even the Queen has started producing it, but British-made wine is not exactly sexy.
It typically finds itself marooned on the bottom shelf, it is not held in particularly high esteem among the wine trade and it has never had much of a dazzling marketing push. But now the category has an unlikely champion in Paul Schaafsma, the man who made his name by selling tremendous volumes of New World wine to UK retailers, and it is gearing up to conquer the off-trade in 2018.
“It’s a shame that the perception of British-made wine has always been bottom shelf and very cheap, because there is nothing wrong with the wine,” says Schaafsma. “You can taste our British-made Pinot Grigio and it could be from Italy or anywhere – I don’t think you could tell. There has been a perception among retailers, among the wine trade, that this is a dumbed-down wine. We have done a lot of work in terms of creating a quality product and our packaging moving forward will reflect that so the consumer feels confident they are buying a product they are going to enjoy at a price point that’s good value for money. There has been a problem but we are going to fix it and rejuvenate and energise it.
COMPETING WITH MAJOR BRANDS
“There’s no reason why we can’t compete with any of the major wine players. The business is in a very healthy position.”
“We don’t have that. We can grow our volume and decrease our volume quite quickly in terms of the scale of the company, and we think that will provide more relevance for our customers in future.”