Circumference Wines – A new distribution partner for Glass of Bubbly

21st October 2019

Graham Herbert Circumference Wines

As Glass of Bubbly increase their global brand awareness and importantly improve ranking naturally across organic searches online, the time was inevitably going to be upon us that we were to set up an eCommerce arm to the business.

The new Glass of Bubbly website, released early 2019, incorporates an online store where soon consumers and trade can purchase award winning Champagne and sparkling wines with zero commission fees.

Glass of Bubbly eCommerce website

Glass of Bubbly eCommerce website

The idea behind zero fees is simply a thank you back to those wineries who enter our awards. We stand by our promise to wineries who work with us to do all that we can to improve their exposure online and increase sales leads. As our awards grow then so will the award winning listings on our website, what wineries pay to enter our awards we hope that in time they get back from commission savings and sales. Buyers can chose to use our website knowing that the website does not add commission fees hopefully guaranteeing that wines bought via Glass of Bubbly will be the cheapest option online both direct from wineries or via their representatives / wine merchant. We are not so much of an importer, more a lead generator in concept.” Christopher Walkey – Founder of Glass of Bubbly.

Together with Circumference wines, who will be the chosen importer and distributor for award winning sparkling wines of Glass of Bubbly seeking UK representation, an easy to use and rely upon purchase and completion service will be in place. Glass of Bubbly also allow wineries to list directly and complete orders as well as their chosen representation. The system will be set up to take payments from order and pass on the monies and order details to the agency dealing with each wine in question. Glass of Bubbly will neither store or directly sell any wines.

Graham Herbert taking a walk in his vineyard

Graham Herbert taking a walk in his vineyard

Circumference Wines UK, though a new set up, comes with years of winning and dining experience from its founder Graham Herbert. We asked Graham some questions to get a better understanding of his vision and passion for sparkling wines:

What is the reason for Circumference Wines?

Circumference Wines was set up specifically to represent the many artisan wine producers (both sparkling and still) who wish to enter the UK market. As an artisan producer myself, and having attended numerous UK wine events over the last 8 years, both as a delegation manager, brand ambassador and presenter of wines, I saw the urgent need for artisan producers to be fully represented and supported through all stages of sourcing a UK importer. By working in collaboration with Glass of Bubbly, we can now offer a full service to all artisan producers.

Identifying wines by the tasting experiences they hold inside each bottle, do you agree with the idea behind the Glass of Bubbly Awards?

The Glass of Bubbly Awards and annual UK trade tasting events are the highlight of the year, especially for sampling the widest range of undiscovered artisan champagnes and sparkling wines from around the world and presenting wines to trade professionals.
The format of sampling wines for the awards is unique. Having wines sampled by over 50 judges specially chosen from across the wine trade is an incredible way for producers to get vital unbiased feedback and opinions.

What is the advantage of being represented in the UK and have your wines available? Is there too much competition or are their gaps to be explored considering that the country is now consuming 165 million bottles every year?

The UK wine market is possibly the most important wine market to be represented in today. It goes without saying that competition is very intense. However, the potential rewards for wines with a strong presence in this market can be very lucrative. With the UK, and London in particular, operating as a global hub, it’s fair to say that establishing a brand of wine in the UK usually leads to establishing good connections throughout the world.
With 165m bottles of wine consumed each year in the UK, there’s still room for high quality wines to position themselves in the market. Brand positioning and the right promotional platform is key.

An Irish man in Italy with a vineyard? An Englishman in New York maybe or have you discovered something special?

If I bet a € for every time I was asked this question, I’d be a rich man now and possibly not trying to craft a living out of making wine.
However, as luck would have it, I purchased an old wine production house in a town called Colmurano in Le Marche, Italy, many years ago. This took me down a path in wine I have long been wanting to travel, to become a wine producer. 20 years in high end gastronomy taught me many things, in particular “always get to the roots of and fully understand the source of the product you are working with”.
Over the last 10 years, I have restored and developed an organic Italian farm, embracing all the local traditions, and continued with the custom of making a type of wine called vino cotto, an ancient style of wine dating from Roman times made exclusively in this region. These dessert style wines can age for 20-100 years and are very similar in style to Madeira.
An Irish man in Italy with a vineyard? At home in Ireland we are collectively known as “the wild geese”, although I have some way to go to reach the success levels of other more famous Irish families who have made the journey, Leoville-Barton, Lynch-Bages and even Hennessy to name but a few. So my answer is “Why not?

Christopher Walkey

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.