The fine wine importer has bought the Burgundy specialist after three years of significant growth
Flint Wines (and its retail arm, Stannary Wine) sees the purchase, which was completed Thursday 28 May, as an opportunity to bring together two impressive wine portfolios, with the aim of creating what will be one of the most in-depth Burgundy lists in the UK. Discussions began in August 2019 and financial details have not been disclosed.
Domaine Direct was founded by Hilary Gibbs in 1981, and has since worked closely with excellent growers and sold to premium restaurants, as well as shops and collectors. Gibbs very sadly passed away in March of this year after a fall in her home, but was in talks with Flint at the end of 2019.
We can take inspiration from the past to build an exciting future
Flint Wines has experienced huge organic growth over the last three years, doubling turnover to an expected £14m this year (from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020) and the deal will hopefully generate continued growth for the on-trade importer.
'I have known Hilary since the early 1990s when, in my formative years in the wine trade, I used to buy wines from her for Le Pont de la Tour,' said Burgundy buyer, Jason Haynes. 'She had great names on her list then and the list today is even more impressive. She enjoyed mutually respectful relationships with all her growers, many of whom she had worked with for almost 40 years.'
Of course, with the coronavirus pandemic throwing the on-trade into turmoil over the last few months, Haynes admits it is a brave time to make the move: 'With restaurants unable to open currently, we wondered if this was the right moment for such a daring purchase, but we didn't wonder for too long! It is such a great opportunity. We were already so privileged to work with the great growers that we do, and I am beyond excited about working with these new producers.'
With restaurants unable to open currently, we wondered if this was the right moment for such a daring purchase, but we didn't wonder for too long!
The new Trade List incorporating all the new wines and suppliers is set to be released in September 2020, and Gearoid Devaney MS will continue to lead on trade business.
'For once I am relishing writing our new Trade List... which should read like an A-Z of top producers, providing a fitting legacy to Hilary's great work,' said Haynes. 'Last year we invested in people and a new IT system, so, strategically, it feels very much like the right time to be investing in such a venture, despite the damage caused by covid-19. We can take inspiration from the past to build an exciting future.'
Existing Domaine Direct staff will be kept on to ensure a smooth transition and wines will continue to be stored at London City Bond.