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.

Sort by
  • Not too sure how you make a French Champagne in Marlborough, won't it be a New Zealand Champagne?
  • SOHO looks good!!
  • Jgems says
    Great advice for newbies - try lots to find the ones you enjoy most.
    It's also good for experienced drinkers to keep trying new products too in addition to their regular favourites. Who knows, there are lots ogf new gems in the making!
  • Stephanie says
    Awesome work Rachel!! Can't wait to try your wines, go girl!
  • Anna says
    interesting... i would love one day to go to some like tasting or something that teaches more about how to match your food and wine!
  • Just shows that it can be easy to succeed with a great product, a good brand and a fantastic team... congrats
  • Shirlz says
    I loved reading this interview with Rachel. I love the names she has given the wines- "Stella" hmmm I can just taste the sav with limey flavours and can well imagine it would go well with butterfish- must win some so I can try it! Hubby goin fishing this weekend so fingers crossed he comes home with butterfish...
  • Holly J says
    So inspiring! Havana pinot noir sounds amazing :P
  • harksgal says
    Awesome interview. I think SOHO is an awesome name for the wine as it is very classy. Rachael looks like a very classy lady too so it figures. I would love to try SOHO and with my birthday coming up this month i think it would be a perfect occasion to do so.
  • JennyT says
    Calling Havana pinot noir the cross-dresser of grapes really tickled my funny bone LOL Great interview.

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