This is my blog about the business of wine, a subject which is as fascinating to me as the nuances surrounding viticulture, winemaking and the drinking of wine are to others. Why the fascination? Well on one level it’s about the challenge of making sense of a category which is so wonderfully complex. There’s the diversity not only in the range of wines but also in the ethos of the extraordinarily fragmented producer base, there’s the effect of the vagaries of vintage on regional and producer strategies and the fact that the industry attracts such personalities and passion. And it’s all so fluid and dynamic.
On another level my interest lies in the following paradox .Why are the financial returns in the Wine industry so critically low when Wine apparently has so much aspirational value? We appear, as a generalisation, remarkably ineffective in taking commercial advantage of all the passion and complexity.
So how do we improve profitability? What should we change and what needs preserving? What should we learn from other categories and what potential lies unrealised within our own?
These questions, amongst others, I’ll be attempting to address in my posts which I hope will stimulate discussion, debate and contributions from others.
About Mike Paul
In 40 years in the Wine industry Mike has managed brands across the price spectrum from Black Tower to DRC, with Penfolds, Lindemans and Kumala and others sandwiched somewhere in between. He has also run companies ranging from UK distributors and brand owners to European subsidiaries of international producers. On a broader note he has been heavily involved in generic initiatives, both regional and industry wide, and is also a regular lecturer at the WSET on the business and marketing of wine.
In terms of current employment he consults for Charles Back on Fairview and Spice Route and with Charles is a shareholder in Citrusdal, the Fair Trade specialist. He is also working with the English Wine Industry as a Business & Marketing mentor and Free Run Wines, the Wiltshire based distributor and brand owner, in addition to on ad hoc projects .Finally he is a partner with Jerry Lockspeiser and Cliff Roberson in Millione,the brand designed to fund school building in Sierra Leone.
Graham Holter for editorial support and Alan West (westii.communications) for putting it all together.