Accolade Wines has launched Fine Wine Partners in the UK and Ireland to champion its fine wine portfolio.

Toby Spiers has been appointed to head up Fine Wine Partners UK; Spiers will lead a ‘cross-functional’ team across the premium portfolio, which are defined as wines priced over £10.

Spiers previously looked after the fine wine specialist retail channel at Treasury Wines. He is a graduate of Plumpton College with a degree in Viticulture & Oenology and he holds the WSET Diploma.

Fine Wine Partners was purchased by Accolade Wines from Lion Nathan in early 2017, and it saw the likes of Petaluma, St Hallett, Stonier, Croser and Tatachilla move across to Accolade to complement the premium portfolio, which already boasted key wineries and wines from Australia including Hardys fine wines, Houghton, Grant Burge and House of Arras.

Spiers said: “We have redefined our approach to the sales and marketing of our premium wines for the UK market to be aimed at specialist, prestige and independent accounts in the off and on trade. Our portfolio is a flagship for fine wines from the New World in terms of quality and breadth with some of the rarest and most collectible benchmark wines for their given style, especially looking at our Australian category.

“Australia is comparable to the size of Europe so we should not generalise about its wines with so many climatic influences and soil types, let alone winemaking style or philosophy. We believe the regional story of Australian fine wine needs to be retold and reinforced as we feel not enough has been done in recent times. We have the ambition, wines and a commercial plan to be a leading force behind this long-term effort.”

Fine Wine Partners will also be responsible for the development and growth of the 1853 Wine Club and Weybridge based shop, which is a virtual cellar door for wines not widely available on the high street.

Ade McKeon, general manager UK and Ireland for Accolade Wines, said: “Accolade Wines has always had a strong culture of fine wines and winery ownership which complement our leading portfolio of branded wines. The acquisition of Lion Nathan’s Fine Wine division a year ago has reinforced and strengthened our offer and we are committed to its growth for the long term.”