Norwich firm saves winemaker after vandals pour £50,000 of her vintage down the drain

Award-winning British wine maker Katie Jones whose entire white vintage was destroyed by vandals a m

Award-winning British wine maker Katie Jones whose entire white vintage was destroyed by vandals a month ago. She is now being helped by Norwich-based Naked Wines. - Credit: Archant

Norwich-based Naked Wines has rescued an award-winning winemaker who was left reeling when vandals poured £50,000 of her white vintage down the drain.

Eamon Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Naked Wines.

Eamon Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Naked Wines. - Credit: Archant

Katie Jones lost 4,000 bottles of her Grenache Gris -the entire stock- after they opened the taps on vats stored at her vineyard in Tuchan, France.

But Miss Jones has now been saved from ruin after the Norfolk firm rallied its customers to pre-order 30,000 bottles of her wine in 48 hours to stump up the cash for her 2013 vintage.

She said: 'I am so grateful for this overwhelming show of support. When I lost my entire white vintage it was a disaster, but this funding will help us get back on our feet and come back with an absolutely outstanding 2013 wine.'

Miss Jones established nine hectares of vineyards throughout Tuchan and Maury after moving to the Languedoc mountains from Leicestershire 20 years ago.


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And Eamon Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Naked Wines, was eager for her to continue after she scooped a number of awards for her white and red wines.

He said: 'When we read about Katie's plight we felt we had to do something. She's a first class winemaker and deserves some help to get back in business.

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'As ever, our customers have shown they really care about good wine and great winemakers - and their response has been phenomenal.'

He added: 'What our customers did for Katie embodies what we are all about as a company.

'We are supporting the local growers in a time of need, and we have engaged customers which are willing to help wine growers where they can.'

The move comes amid a period of overseas expansion for Naked Wines, which has established branches in Nappa California and Newport Australia. It recently achieved 57pc growth in year-on-year sales and recorded a £35m turnover.

The firm, which employs 65 people at Holland Court, Norwich, provides customers with exclusive wines at wholesale price by encouraging investment in future vintages.

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