Christopher Carson is now managing director of the UK arm of Italian wine firm GIV and is running his new venture Cellar Vie Wines in addition to that role.
Carson has set up the business with his son Jon, and former Ehrmanns and Mentzendorff managing director Bill Page is also involved in the project.
The company said it was “constantly seeking out inspiring wines from some of the best winemakers around the world”.
Cellar Vie’s first major business victory is a contract to provide a wine club for the English RFU.
The RFU Wine Club will offer English rugby supporters wines priced between £7 and £12, plus access to tastings, dinners and other exclusive events with a rugby theme, or be centred around international matches at Twickenham.
Wines from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are being promoted to coincide with the current series of internationals against top teams from the southern hemisphere. Carson said: “The wine world is fast-changing and there are lots of new and exciting wines emerging from all corners of the globe.
“The initial wine list offers several exclusives and supports the mantra of the club to offer really good quality and exceptional value for money.”?Page was responsible for brokering the deal which made Bollinger the official Champagne of English rugby when he was at Mentzendorff – a deal that is still in place.
He is also a non-executive director of the Rugby Players’ Association.
Paul Vaughan, the RFU’s business operations director, said: “We feel our rugby customer base is an ideal fit for the wine club.
“They are discerning buyers used to a quality product. We look forward to being able to fill the gap in the market that we are sure is there.”