Interview with Amber from SOHO

SOHO RevolverAmber from SOHOAmber, how are you doing?

I’m good, good to be in sunny London and escape the New Zealand winter for a brief period.

You’re from SOHO wine, which has quite a unique name. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

We’re about 5 years old. We wanted to create a wine company that was reflective of the lifestyle surrounding wine. It’s so entrenched in our everyday life and we wanted to reflect that social network surrounding wine. Hence we called it SOHO because it’s a lifestyle brand.

You’ve been over in England for coming up to a week, where have you been visiting?

Our vision for Soho is for it to be drunk in the best restaurants and bars around the world. We’ve been working very hard at that for the past five years. We’re currently exporting to 14 countries and this past week in London has been a mixture of going to see and support some of the amazing restaurants and bars that Soho’s poured in which has been really flattering to see. There’s so many great places in London.

How does London compare to other cities around the world that SOHO is poured in?

London has always been a favourite city of mine, I actually grew up in London! I always enjoy coming back here. I think the cafe, restaurant and bar scene is absolutely amazing. It’s such a melting pot. There’s so much variety so it’s really unique for that reason. Wine being a huge part of that, there’s such a big wine culture. You’ve got wines from all over the world in London.

SOHO has a range of wines from different areas of New Zealand.

Yes, one of our key points of difference is we own the vineyards. We don’t have a winery. We’ve got vineyards in 3 of the best regions of New Zealand. Waiheke Island, Marlborough and Central Otago and we have  a winemaker that makes our wine in each region. The thought behind it is that you’ve got such different locations: Waiheke Island which is quite warm, one of the most northern winemaking regions in New Zealand right down to Central Otago, which is right down in the south island with a very cool climate. Different varietals thrive in different regions so having a winemaker that is specific to that area and region suits us, as they know how to make wines that is best suited to that region. Each of those winemakers in each of the regions brings something unique and special to the SOHO range so it’s a real point of difference having 3 wine regions within one company.

You mentioned that it was a key objective for SOHO to be poured in the best restaurants. The packaging is quite sleek and modern; what advice would you give to our customers to help them trade up to SOHO?

One of the ironic things is that people spend so much on the fit out of a bar. The ambiance and the feel of the place and then fill the fridges with naff labels. You touched on our packaging, a lot of thought and time went into it. It’s very stylish and simple. For that reason our packaging does speak to people. The wine in the bottle, most importantly, backs that up as well. In a four year period we’ve picked up 22 gold medals. I think along with the lifestyle I think it’s about drinking fantastic wine, in fantastic locations with fantastic people.

It could stand out and you could merchandise it in a restaurant like you would in a shop.

So that’s something else we’ve been approached about. We’ve got quite a close relationship with Porsche New Zealand and a number of the fashion houses. We do a lot of cross brand promotions, whether they’re launching a new car or fashion range. We’re consistently working alongside different industries and our names are reflective of fashion, music and culture.

Almost like a spirits brand, you don’t see that often over here.

We definitely have a different way of working than other wine companies.

English consumers have an idea of what New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc tastes like, what New Zealand Pinot Noir tastes like. Where does SOHO fit?

I think that we definitely appeal to the discerning audience that can tell the difference between a quality Sauvignon Blanc and a premium Sauvignon Blanc. That’s where we’re positioned in the market, we are a premium winery. For our winemakers, it’s all about fruit purity and wines to be matched with food.

Where do you ideally see SOHO in the next year?

Soho house here we come! We’re only five years old but it’s been a very busy five years. We’re all so passionate about SOHO.

What’s your favourite SOHO wine?

I knew you’d say that! Let’s see, if it was about 11am in the sun it would be a delicious crisp SOHO Westwood rose. At 2 in the afternoon I would love to have a SOHO Jagger Pinot Gris with some fresh crayfish. At 5 o clock I’d move onto the Stella Sauvignon Blanc with maybe some red snapper or some oysters. Then moving on to the evening a cigar and a drop of SOHO Pinot Noir. There’s definitely a wine for every hour of the day.

Date:
15th August 2014


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