The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Bollinger, Henschke and Villa Maria form House of Fine Wine

Société Jacques Bollinger (SJB), Henschke and Villa Maria have come together to create House of Fine Wine, an Australian distribution company that will offer nationwide supply of premium wines from a single, focused portfolio.

The new company was established after the sale of Fine Wine Partners to Accolade earlier this year. The three family-owned wineries – who all had seats on the advisory board of Fine Wine Partners – are bringing together their combined 393 years of winemaking experience and their commitment to sustainability and quality for a producer and customer-focused model that will offer the Australian market premium wines from three of the world’s most accomplished and admired wine brands.

The three wineries share multi-generational, family-owned values and a long-term vision for the future, contributing complementary strengths for a rich portfolio of fine wines. Villa Maria, New Zealand’s most awarded winery, offers a vast array of wines from regions around New Zealand, with a strong emphasis on Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Founded in 1829, Société Jacques Bollinger (SJB) is comprised of two prestigious Champagne houses (Bollinger and Ayala), one of the oldest Burgundy domaines (Chanson Père & Fils), the house of Langlois Chateau in the Loire Valley and Delamain, one of the most reputable houses of Cognac. Henschke, one of the most historic and renowned names in Australian wine brings six generations of premium winemaking with a distinguished pedigree in complex and age-worthy white and red wines.

Etienne Bizot, sixth generation of the family and great-nephew of Lily Bollinger, oversees the family’s estates as President and Chairman of Société Jacques Bollinger and stated: “Represented in the Australian marketplace now for over 100 years, our houses Champagne Bollinger, Champagne Ayala and Cognac Delamain are delighted to continue their close working relationship of a quarter of a century with the Henschke family and more recently Villa Maria’s Fistonich family in the House of Fine Wine.”

The new producer and customer-focused distribution model is unique in that it will allow the three wineries to build their brands through a tightly configured portfolio that places quality at the core of the business. In addition, they’ll dedicate a large percentage of their efforts to the fine wine retail and on-premise side of the business.

“This new distribution business is truly unique in bringing together three of the finest family producers from across the world,” says David Bird, General Manager, House of Fine Wine. “We’ll provide a tightly focused premium portfolio and highly engaged sales and support team who have a deep understanding of each family winery and their remarkable wines.”

The new company will officially launch on 1 June 2017 and will build upon the existing infrastructure developed by Villa Maria with a dedicated sales and marketing team, customer services, supply chain and operational support.