We have interviewed one of the experts who will take part in the cycle of conferences at the WBWE 2019
One of the leading experts of wine distribution and purchasing in the United Kingdom

Steve Daniel is currently the head of Wine Buying for Hallgarten Druitt Wines. “Every year I make the blends for our own label ranges from Italy, France and Chile. We use a lot of bulk wine and bottle in our sister companies’ bottling facility in Germany”.

Hallgarten Druitt is one of the UK’s leading ‘specialist’ wine distributors, with sales of over £50m and a customer-base of 2,800 accounts covering all sectors of the trade.

Hallgarten Druitt serves the capital’s 5 star hotels, Michelin-star restaurants, local wine bars and gastro pubs.

This is what he has told us about the WBWE:

What do you expect from your participation in the WBWE?
It is a fabulous opportunity to taste wine from all the world’s major bulk suppliers. It helps me to find new partners for our house wines and new projects.

How do you envisage the future of the wine industry?

Speaking for the UK, I see the future being very tough; I see consumers are looking for value and stories. They are less country motivated. It is a very tough market for fine wines. I also think you need to strip any extra costs out of the finished wine to be competitive.

Which markets are currently showing the most potential for bulk wine imports? I only work in the UK market. There is a big potential in the UK.

How can producers better communicate the benefits of wine in bulk to suppliers? To access bulk, suppliers need scale and access to bottling/packaging plants. The benefits are stripping out overheads and extra costs, taking advantage of harvest issues e.g. surplus of supply and flexibility in final packaging. It is not a market open to everyone. Events like this are an obvious vehicle.

What impact do you think the UK has on the bulk wine industry moving forward? I believe it will have a big impact. The UK is massively competitive and is a high taxation country. To be able to offer value bulk shipping is one of the only ways to offer entry level wine. I think the green taxes and government and consumer demands for more environmentally friendly packaging will increase the demand for canned wine, kegged wines and other alternative packs. Shipping in bulk and using specialised packagers can facilitate this.

Do you see any packaging alternative taking over the traditional glass bottle in the UK? Absolutely, especially at lower price levels in retail and in HORECA.