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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  • samala says
    So hungry and thirsty after reading this - steak fillet, lamb shanks and delicious wine what more could you ask for. Would love to try some of these combinations soon. Really interesting, thankyou :-)
  • nzmonstar says
    It's nice to hear the personal story behind the wine.
  • good advice Racheal smell before you taste good luck for your future
  • Tanyaaa says
    They sound like great wines and i'd love to taste them!!
  • Mary says
    would love to receive some free stuff and taste some lovely wines
  • Jacqueline says
    I think SOHO has achieved that sexy / classy kind of demeanour for a wine brand. Consider yourselves successful.
  • djavkal says
    This is a great article and interview with Rachael Carter... and awesome for the SOHO Wines... Cheers!
  • OneEyed says
    There's certainly more to the wine business than growing a few grapes.
  • cindy says
    can't wait for the champagne!!!
  • WingerGee says
    Haven't heard of SOHO before (except on Sky TV) but sounds like they are doing a good job- maybe a little more local exposure will help- like a few free bottles never hurts.

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