Freixenet Copestick has added the Garage Wine Co to its portfolio and the producer’s wines will now be sold online by Slurp and to the on-trade by Jascots Wine Merchants.

Garage, which is based in the Maule Valley in Southern Chile, is well known for making wines from parcels of old vines in the historic Maule and Itata Valleys from lesser-known places such as Truquilemu, Sauzal and Calivoro. It is also well-known for its smaller volumes of Cariñena, Garnacha, Monastrell, Pais, Cinsault, Semillon and Cabernet Franc.

The company began twenty years ago, in the garage, and is still principally owned and managed by husband and wife team Pilar Miranda and Derek Mossman Knapp.

The wines, which will be sold online by Slurp and to the on-Trade by Jascots, will also be offered to independents in the UK and the Republic of Ireland by Freixenet’s sales team. And there will be some older vintages to add excitement to the new releases as well as some parcels that have not previously shipped to the UK.

Robin Copestick, managing director of Freixenet Copestick, said “Our UK group is now wonderfully diverse so we can be confident of success with a wider variety of suppliers. When I met Derek and tasted the wines, I knew they would be a perfect fit for our growing organisation. They are game-changers.

“We already overtrade in Chile and these wines were so unique that I could just sense the opportunity. They will complement the wines that we already ship from Chile and grow the category with South American old vines. I was impressed with the way Derek and Pilar do business. It goes beyond the certifications of the day – they fundamentally believe business can be a force for good. Not only are they making wine in a sustainable way, but they support the farmers and local communities. They seek to create excellence over short term gains.”

Mossman-Knapp said: “We were not looking to make a change in distributor, we have spent the last few years getting closer to the farming, but when I met Robin in Chile, and he spoke of what Freixenet Copestick is up to in the UK and I was energised. I know how online wine businesses are getting suppliers closer to customers, and how quickly they are growing. It is a great opportunity to be involved with Slurp. And Jascots will give us the focus in the on-trade where we have been strong in the past in normal times.

“Additionally, the Freixenet Copestick sales team will find us more opportunities with the indies. We have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and knowledge on our video tasting calls. The whole team has become famous for their entrepreneurial spirit.

“In the Garage Wine Co, we are not very good at sitting still. There will be exciting news soon about a project we have begun in times of Covid and together with Freixenet Copestick we shall take this to new heights.”

Freixenet Copestick acquired Jascots Wine Merchants from the administrator at the end of 2020, and around the same time it finalised the purchase of 100% of online retailer Slurp.

The Garage Wine Co was previously part of Bibendum’s portfolio in the UK.