We Spoke to Bacchus Wines PLDC To Find Out What’s Required To Be a Successful Indie Wine Merchant
We catch up with Bacchus Wines PLDC Ltd - an independent estate-wine merchant offering joyful and affordable wines to trade and individuals alike. Their stunning collection is hand-picked and personally chosen by the founders. The wines are selected on their merit and are never dictated by trends. The current collection includes the 'Magnificent Seven' from the award-winning Chateau de Parenchère, which has a long and well-established history in viticulture, producing award-winning wines.
Chef and restaurateur Jake Saul Watkins owned and operated the Michelin-starred JSW Restaurant in Hampshire and has been a fan of the Château de Parenchère wines for decades. "I have been buying wines from Pierre-Loup (Bacchus Wines PLDC) for over twenty-two years. When I owned the Michelin-starred JSW Restaurant in Hampshire, and since retiring, I stocked my cellar with the joyful wines of Château de Parenchère. They are my go-to wines, and I always receive excellent wines and service."
Bacchus Wines have also recently announced a UK-exclusive deal to offer top-quality Champagnes to venues all over the UK. Founded in 1902, Paul Lebrun draws its inspiration from multi-generational winemaking know-how. The vineyards of the Maison are largely located on the prestigious Côte des Blancs in Cramant, one of the 17 villages classified as Grand Cru in Champagne.
We spoke to Bacchus Wines PLDC about what's next for the independent wine merchant.
Q1. As always, with our Q&A, it's in at the deep end. Why should someone choose Bacchus Wines to source wine and Champagne for their venue or event?
They should choose us because we bring fantastic wines and Champagnes to the UK market, most of which local people cannot get otherwise. We select wines that we love for their unique character and rich taste and prefer working with producers responsible for sustainable farming and better ecological practices. With Bacchus Wines, you also receive personal service. We will never push wines that need to be sold off. Instead, we can collaborate with buyers to select wines that suit their customers' tastes and tailor events to any specific requirement our customers have.
Q2. Can clients be as bespoke as they wish with their selections, or are there order amounts/requirements that must be adhered to? It's not as simple as 'one size fits all' is it'?
One size does not fit all! We are very flexible and prefer the personal touch. We often suggest a wine tasting at a venue to ensure the buyer can try our wines first-hand. Of course, we do run a business, so there is a link between how much wine we provide compared to what we expect to achieve in terms of sales. Having said that, we prefer long-term relationships, so the volume does not have to be huge, to begin with. We have a small but expertly selected range from multiple French vineyards, but we can also source rare vintages.
Q3. You offer trade accounts which is a huge help to venues and event organisers. Can you let us know some of the advantages and range of benefits for account holders?
At Bacchus Wines PLDC, we like to keep things simple where we can, so we have developed a trade section on our website. This means that venues, buyers and managers can set up a trade account, and based on their spending and needs, we award customers substantial discounts on orders.
We can also arrange a visit or wine tasting to help train staff and teams. We love telling the stories of the vineyards and estates that we sell, and they all come with their own stories, which help to illustrate how special these wines are. Our co-founder Pierre-Loup has worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years and can even consult on wine pairings for restaurants. We're already supplying restaurants and caterers, so we would love to discuss food and wine pairings with more venues.
Q4. Wines tasting events are still great entertainment and a fantastic way to attract people to hospitality establishments. Can Bacchus Wines collaborate with venues throughout the UK looking to host such an event?
Absolutely! Simply contact us via the website, and so far, there has never been a situation where we could not agree on something.
Q5. You're clearly at the forefront of your field, with the recent announcement of the UK-exclusive partnership with Champagne house Paul Lebrun being a testament to that. Will it be more of the same for you guys going forward or are there any developments on the horizon that you can let us in on?
Since announcing our UK-exclusive partnership with Paul Lebrun Champagne, we're already planning additional vintages to our range. We're huge fans of French wines and plan to add Sancerre and Burgundy to our selection, so watch this space!
Q6. Your range is small and covers all bases, but what do your customers think?
We've been in the hospitality industry for decades and have worked with chefs, venues, bars, restaurants and private collectors.
So we were thrilled when The Archers actor Charles Collingwood sent us this note about his experience -
"Nothing has been more English than being part of the Archers on the BBC, the longest-running soap opera in the world. For me, 48 years of playing Brian Aldridge has been an honour. A year or so ago, I met for the first time Pierre-Loup Decam at a wine tasting in Petersfield. That, too, was an honour as this infectious Frenchman introduced me to the wines of Chateau de Parenchere for the first time. Since then, Pierre's enthusiastic expertise has guided and persuaded me to buy and enjoy these truly mouth-watering wines without being at a mouth-watering cost! At first, rather cautiously, I drank the Superior Rouge "Cuvee Raphael", but I now savour as well the "Esprit de Parenchere" liquid bliss and, in warmer weather, the pale pink beauty of La Roseraie. May Pierre, Bacchus Wines and the grapes of Chateaux de Parenchere continue to bring me and the wider world liquid joy for many years to come."
If we've convinced the great Charles Collingwood that our wines are expertly made and offer excellent provenance and great value, we hope that UK-based venues will also get on board. We don't want to compete with the bigger wine wholesalers, but we want to offer fantastic wines and exceptional service.
Big thanks to Trond Rornes, Co-Founder of Bacchus Wines PLDC for his time.