Retailer to open boutique London winery

26 July, 2013

Wine merchant Roberson is taking over an old gin distillery in Earls Court and turning it into a boutique winery that will start making wine in September.

The firm will import 22 hand-harvested grapes from Bordeaux and Languedoc-Rousillon and the first limited-edition wine from London Cru will go on sale mid-2014.

Its winemaker Gavin Monery, an Australian whose career has taken in Cullen Wines, Moss Wood and Jean-Louis Chave, will oversee everything from grape deliveries through to processing, fermenting, ageing and bottling.

He said: “With so many talented people creating world-class craft beers and spirits in London we thought it was a great time to do the same with wine, and share the experience of making it with people who want a hands-on, informative and entertaining experience.

“We realise that this is going to be a challenge, but we have all of the tools, skills and experience to make top quality wines in an urban environment. We also have the freedom to create the styles we want without the rules that apply to so many wine regions.”

When asked why it was importing grapes from France instead of using grapes from England’s thriving vineyards, he said: “We aren’t using English grapes this year but we hope to in the future.

“The main reason for the first batch of fruit coming from France is that we have excellent relationships with the producers we’re buying grapes from in Bordeaux, the Langeudoc and the Roussillon and know them and their estates very well.

“We think there are some brilliant wines being made in the UK and we hope to find a suitable partner going forward that we can work with.”

Cliff Roberson, founder of Roberson Wine, and investor Will Tomlinson, are backing the venture, and Roberson’s senior buyer Mark Andrew will help Monery source grapes. 




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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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