UK Wine Show 141 Matthew Dickinson on Thierrys and France
This show was published 30 January 2009
Matthew Dickinson is commercial director at Thierrys Wine Services. Thierrys is the biggest UK importer of wine from France so we get a feel for their business and the French wine trade.
Thierrys import about 65 million bottles of wine into the UK with 70% from France. They focus on great quality and great value and promote 12 hero winemakers who are pioneers and personalities from the trade.
Founder Thierry Cabanne started the business 30 years ago importing wine for his own restaurant in London - the import side of the business soon became much bigger than the restaurant. Thierrys now deal with all major retailers including the supermarkets.
The French have a huge production base producing 57 million hectolitres of wine, much of which is owned by farmers who take their wine to co-operatives. New and more dynamic companies, some trading as co-operatives, are cropping up and driving the market forward with their entrepreneurial approach. There are still some successful Negociants around falling into two categories - successful innovative marketing driven companies and the traditional premium end companies e.g. Louis Latour, Louis Jadot.
The creation of Vignobles de France Matthew thinks will allow more flexibility in the selling and marketing of French wine, e.g. being able to blend across regions could see the creation of French wine brands.
Matthew recommends the Fitou region and also the Rhone Valley for great value and quality over £5 a bottle.
The UK Wine Show is sponsored by ThirtyFifty. Our team of wine tasters are busy entertaining and educating UK consumers to help them get the most out of wine.
The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.