Wanderlust Wine was set up to offer sustainable, quality wine made by small producers with honesty and love. Wanderlust is a word meaning ‘a strong desire to travel’ – we use this in the context of new wines, new regions and new styles to keep exploring the boundaries of the wine world we know.
How it all started
Say hello to Richard, our founder. After 10 years in corporate banking, Richard, who is an ex-chef with a degree in Food & Wine Technology, enrolled himself into wine school. Initially meant as an extension of interest and hobby to widen his wine knowledge, he progressed through the levels and along the way discovered that there was something really special about the wine industry – the people, the passion, the dynamics. A month later, the concept of Wanderlust Wine was born – to import wines that you couldn’t buy in the UK from small producers that Richard had discovered on his travels.
Armed with a business plan and a handful of golden producers, Richard got to work sourcing a warehouse and talking to sommeliers about the concept. A few years on from the initial idea, Wanderlust Wine is proud to be working with an exciting portfolio of small producers all making sustainable wine.
Harvest to Glass – Sustainable wine
We represent a selection of artisanal producers that are exclusive to us from all over the world. These producers are small, extremely passionate about what they do and all share a commitment to sustainability. From growing the grapes to fermenting the juice and bottling their finished wines, they do things in a way that keeps the vineyards naturally healthy and productive over the long term.
All the wines we sell use organically farmed grapes as a minimum. You can read more about sustainability and the different classifications for wine here.
Our Ethos – Simple, honest and fair
We only source directly from winemakers – there are no middlemen and we don’t demand big discounts on price. We passionately believe that producers should get a fair price for the hard work and commitment they put in, so either we think it’s fantastic wine at a fair price, or we walk away.
We believe in connecting you to our winemakers so that you can understand their stories, goals and reasons for making the wines they do. And we invite them to the UK 4 or 5 times a year so you can meet them in person and hear all about it first hand at one of our tastings!
We passionately believe that producers should get a fair price for the hard work and commitment they put in. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for large retailers and merchants to use their position to drive down the price to the absolute minimum with the winemaker in order to maximise their profits.
The wine you drink can touch around 100 people on its way to you but by sourcing it directly, we can trim that down to 70 or even 80 people, so that there’s more in it for you and winemakers. Everyone gets a better deal!
Common industry practices that aren’t fair to consumers and producers
Here’s a common pricing example that you might see at a supermarket or wine merchant: a wine is shown on the shelf for £14.99. A week later the price is offered at a 25% discount for £11.25, and you might even get an extra 5% off if you buy 6 bottles. Consumers think they’re getting a great deal and stock up.
What’s actually happening here though is that wine that should retail at £10 is inflated to £14.99. These ‘deals’ are rotated with discounts that bring the cost down on occasion so that it looks like a bargain.
We actually saw a recent example of this on Vivino – they were offering some old stock of one our wines for 20% off at £18.99. But on Wanderlust, it sells for £18.33 full price. This is a good illustration of mark-up-discount-down which masks the actual real value of the wine.
We don’t play pricing games and we don’t pretend that we’re giving you discounts when they’re not real in the first place. That is a core part of our ethos – transparency and keeping it fair and simple.
Sometimes, the contracts that large retailers ask producers to sign can be really hurtful. The discounts that you see on the shelves can sometimes be charged back to the suppliers to that they take a loss on some promotions.
On top of this if you were to complain about your wine to the supermarket – for example, if it was corked, or didn’t live up to expectations – these returns can be passed on along with penalties, often £50 per complaint.
At Wanderlust, we’re able to have an honest conversation with our producers and they simply replace the wine if it’s faulty. If you don’t like a wine that you’ve bought, we try our best to appease you and replace it with something you’ll love!