Specialist Australia and New Zealand wine importer Hallowed Ground is closing for business, with its agencies moving over to several bigger distributors, including one big deal with Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines.
Director Amelia Jukes told Imbibe that her and business partner Elodie Cameron felt they had 'reached the end of the road' in terms of the support they could offer their agencies.
'We do not have the resource to grow, and I wasn't prepared to make the commitments to grow,' she said.
Hallowed Ground was established in 2010 as an importer of 'fine wines from boutique wineries' focusing on Australia and New Zealand.
'It's an increasingly difficult market and a very competitive one. We really felt our size was unable to work in the current climate. The challenges we were facing were tough. Most of the on-trade is consolidating their lists and portfolios at the moment. We were a small supplier but really premium; and we didn't have the access for many sales outside London.'
Hallowed Ground secured several closing deals with other supplies, including the major one with Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines that sees the latter take on 10 of Hallowed Ground's Australian agencies: Clos Clare, Eden Road (vineyard pictured top), Fox Gordon, Laissez Faire, Lake Breeze, Ocean Eight, Paringa Estate, Teusner, Ravenswood Lane and Ulithorne. This represents 61 wines, which will be available to order from 1 August.
'We have long been searching for the right partners in Australia to complement both the quality and regionality of the rest of our portfolio,' said Hallgarten's managing director Andrew Bewes. 'Hallowed Ground has done an exceptional job of establishing these producers in the UK and we are delighted at the prospect of working with them to further build upon their successes.'
'I felt Hallgarten was a good fit,' Jukes told Imbibe. 'It really was a no brainer. They are well-established, with a large network that will allow the wineries to have much better exposure. We will be working through the transition and supporting Andrew where we can. We, and the wineries themselves, are all happy.'
Hallowed Ground's New Zealand agencies will be moving to Indigo Wine, aside from Kusuda, which will move to Berry Bros & Rudd. Arrangements are being made for the remaining agencies.