Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christopher Parker is The UK's Greatest Purveyor of Virginia Wines

Christopher Parker is a unique individual. He is a trailblazer. He is a wine importer, but he has one very unique region - Virginia. Christopher Parker is Founder & Managing Director of New Horizon Wines Ltd. He believes in Virginia wine with all his heart, and is carrying that message and passion back to his native UK, where he is spreading the word like Paul on horseback!

He and I recently caught up with one another via an email exchange. Though I wish it could have been more, with the holiday season, etc. I thought it would be best to just go with what we had.

Christopher has taken a small idea, and now in two-and-a-half years he has helped expand Virginia's reputation in the UK. Christopher is, in short, a visionary. Who knows where this will lead, but it can only lead to better things. It already has!

"I established my company specifically to build the international market for wines of Virginia. I am from the UK and moved to Virginia 21 years ago. I came here for business reasons and discovered wineries - who knew!!," Christopher wrote me.

"I established an import company in the UK to create the channel to market for Virginia wines and have a growing network of merchants there selling Virginia wines.

"My prior businesses have been in technology and software, but I have always loved wine, the art and science of winemaking, and the rich and positive lifestyle associated with it. My decision to create New Horizon Wines evolved over a few years. Having worked with winemakers in Virginia and tasted wines from many wineries over many vintages, I sensed a significant shift and upward trend in quality. It was as if, after 40 years of experimentation, trial & error, and deliberate steps taken by some wineries, everything was coming together. It was visible to me about 7 years ago.

"It was at that time I started to think about the possibilities. It was not until 2006 that I seriously started to form the strategy for creating the international market for Virginia wines. I sold my software company in 2007 and New Horizon Wines was born in 2008.

"I launched at the 2009 London International Wine Fair with winemakers from across the State of Virginia presenting their wines in London. This summer I organized and coordinated the wine events for the Governor McDonnell's Trade Mission, including briefing Oz Clarke to prepare for his guest appearance at the Fortnum & Mason event in London," related Christopher.

Winemakers included, Barboursville Vineyards – Luca Paschina; Veramar Vineyards – Justin Bogaty, Winemaker; Veritas Winery & Vineyards - Andrew & Patricia Hodson; White Hall Vineyards – Tony & Edie Champ, Owner; Breaux Vineyards – Chris Blosser, General Manager; Corcoran Vineyards - Jim Corcoran, Winemaker; Pearmund Cellars – Chris Pearmund, Owner and Williamsburg Winery – Matthew Meyer, Winemaker.

"Most recently I initiated and coordinated a visit by the Circle of Wine Writers to visit Virginia. I encouraged the support from the Virginia Wine Marketing Board and had the pleasure of working with Richard Leahy who worked with us to organize the wine tasting events."

New Horizon Wines Ltd.
72, New Bond Street
London, W1S 1RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7528 217 249

and you can find his blog at: