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2 Good, 2 Bad for 2013, 2 Hopes and Fears for 2014: Robin Copestick, Copestick Murray

Published:  23 December, 2013

As we begin the Christmas week has asked key figures in the trade to look back on 2013 and give their best and worst memories of the year as well as look ahead to their hopes and fears for 2014. You will be able to read a selection of 2 Good, 2 Bad for 2013 and 2 Hopes and 2 Fears for 2014 throughout this week and in to the New Year so please check your to see who is appearing each day. First up is Robin Copesick co-founder of wine agency, Copestick Murray.

Robin Copestick, Copestick Murray

 2 Good

2013 was a spectacular year for Copestick Murray. Sales doubled for the third consecutive year and we also received significant investment from Henkell & Co. The fact that such a successful and reputable company would want to partner Copestick Murray is a huge vote of confidence in all of our staff.

 If I had to pick out two highlights from such a momentous year I would go for:

1 New I heart listings with four major UK multiple on and off-trade accounts and opening five new export markets.

2 From September 1, 2013 (start of the Henkell partnership) - December 31st 2013 we gained listings for Mionetto (both branded and own label) with five off trade multiple retailers. That is some going in just a few months and shows both the huge level of interest in Prosecco and also the massive opportunities that the Copestick Murray/Henkell partnership will create.


2 Bad

Does seeing Jon Walters miss a last minute penalty for Soke against Liverpool while watching the game live on TV with two scousers, namely Richard Siddle and Joe Wadsack, count? If not then I will go for:

1 Copestick Murray really wanted to be stronger in the London on-trade either through direct sales or a partnership. A few intiatives failed to work in 2013 and we are back to square one.

2 For a few years Copestick Murray has undertraded with South America and I love South America. We had a real go at fixing this in 2013 but our efforts have been unrewarded.

Frustrating but we will fix both in 2014.




1 I want more fun in the industry and less chat about education. We're not asking our  customers to sit an exam before they can spend money on a bottle of wine. We are selling a product that is meant to be fun, aspirational and interesting. We have a great wine industry in the UK. It is probably more diverse than any other country in the world. We want our customers to love our products, not be intimidated by them. Let's celebrate that fact that we are in a great industry and take our customers on the ride of their lives.

N.B. This comment does not refelct on the work of WSET or any other wine edcational body. If anyone in or outside the wine industry wants to learn more then that is brilliant and I respect that. However there seems to be a feeling we have to educate comsumers. Utter rubbish. If someone buys a handbag or a pair of jeans do  those producers ask their customers to understand where the material comes from, what was the manufacturing process, when was the raw material harvested etc etc? Of course not. The message from those producers is buy our products, enjoy them, feel better for having bought them and please come back again and again. They engage their customers in the joy of the product. We have the ultimate product for enjoyment but we terrify our customers. I hope we stop this, now.


We are at an important stage in the UK wine industry. As deep cut promotions become a thing of the past, UK wine distributors and retailers will find different and more interesting ways to market their products. I can already hear/see the abuse from the many of the sceptics as change happens. I appreciate criticism, particularly when it is constructive, but so many of our buyers/journalists/bloggers/commentators are too quick to make negative judgements without understanding the facts.

Wine is now a true FMCG product and we have to be better at recognising what our customers want. Our industry will work much better if the descison makers and the critics allow innovation to happen. Too often decison makers and critics are too quick to judge negatively when we present something new and interesting. I hope this changes but I fear this is one battle I will not win, yet.