Interview: Rachael Carter founder of SOHO WINE CO

JJ McConnachie

JJ McConnachie is a writer, book and movie lover, and a technology geek.

I understand big things have been happening for SOHO WINE CO?

It's been so exciting. We started in 2009 with a small team, and suddenly I'm finding that export markets are coming to us - we don't have to go out hunting them. We've landed a big export to the U.S.A, across fifty states and have also been picked up in the U.K. Since then we've seen huge growth and hired new staff. We even have a staff shortage in Marlborough.

Branding is an essential part of wine marketing, how has your brand evolved since you started out?

Branding is distinct to the market, and we started in sich a crowded brand market that we wanted a point of difference. SOHO is a sexy wine brand, named after the person drinking it, around entertainment and fashion, as opposed to the environment, like a rock or a hill, like so many others.

What are your wine/food matching recommendations?

 - Havana pinot noir is the cross-dresser of grapes, and goes well with red or white meat. It's amazing with a steak fillet or fish.
 - Revolver wine is a big wine, and goes beautifully with lamb shanks.
 - Stella sauvignon blanc is limey and goes with a gorgeous butterfish.

Weather can play such a large part in a vintage, how are your nerves when you see detrimental weather?

Mother nature is always a risky game. When the weather is bad, [grape] prices go up, making it harder on exporters.

What innovations do you see playing a large part in the wine industry in the next 20 years?

I see huge growth. Sauvignon blanc is always a leader, but we are starting to get noticed with Chardonnay.

Where do you see the emerging markets for wine export?

Definitely Asia and Germany, which is where we'll be looking next.

Things seem to be looking up for SOHO. Where to from here? World-wide domination?

That's the one! We're actually adding a premium beer to the mix, and a French champagne!

Do you have any advice for a wine lover newbie?

Try lots of different wines. New Zealand wines are a good place to start, but don't limit yourself. Try overseas wines too. It's a little bit like food - very subjective - so go with the taste and smell and keep an open mind. Blind taste testing is another great way to learn what you do and do not like.

 
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  • bassplayer says
    Great information about the background and future of this NZ wine. It is always helpful to know what type of wine goes with what type of food - often I just leave it up to the guest but I would like to know more about food and wine matching. All the best for a great future :)
  • charmed1 says
    Umm this wine sounds lovely, wirting down on my list to try right now.
  • All these great people with interesting careers. I imagine the kids at school have a field day when they go and see there career advisers.
  • Belinda says
    great advice! best of luck and LOVE SOHO !!
  • AngelEyes says
    Yum the wines sound great, now we need a dry hot summer.
  • Eddie says
    I like your advice on trying alot of different wines for us newbies. And all the best for the future.
  • Wice says
    That is some kind of lateral thinking to add a premium beer to the Soho range. Champagne I understand, but the making processes and ingredients are so different between wine and beer. I wish this topic had been pursued further in the the interview.
  • Matunga says
    It's nice to see some experimentation in the stodgy old wine industry. I'll have to try some of these.
  • Gonzala says
    Some good food and wine matching recommendations here.
  • Naomi says
    She sounds like a wise and nice women

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