It was almost 10 years ago…
…when an event in London that featured Virginia wine brought Chris Parker and Andrew Hodson together; both brought up in the UK and both now living in the US. Chris had started New Horizon Wines with the express purpose of promoting Virginia wines in the UK. Now the UK wine market is probably one of the most highly competitive markets in the Western Hemisphere, yet Chris had the vision that Virginia wines were worth investing in and sure enough, ten years down the road, Virginia is competing on the world stage. Chris realized that the product was good and that placement in the market was the most important first step. Then it was just a question of price point and PR.
At the time the two met, Veritas winery was eight years old and as far as Chris was concerned Veritas wines fit the bill for placement in the UK. Over the next few years Virginia wines gained an increasing foot hold in the UK in part driven by the appearance of Virginia at the London International Wine Fair, mixed in with a couple of visits by different Virginia Governors. In London Andrew became more and more aware of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) as a global wine-learning tool.
By 2015, Andrew and Chris had been working together for over five years and at the same time both realized the value of working on the WSET Diploma. Andrew finished the Diploma in February of 2016 and Chris has five out of six units in the Diploma under his belt. Working and studying together made us realize how much we enjoy what we are doing in wine, in education and a whole bunch of enjoyable things in which wine is the common theme.
It was during studies for WSET Diploma that Andrew and Chris met Tracy, who was also working through the diploma studies. Tracy’s background as a sommelier and winemaker, and her passion for education brought another aspect of knowledge and experience to the team and over lunch on a warm and sunny day in Charlottesville we shook hands to work together to bring wine and spirits education to Virginia.