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Owner of Satchells in Burnham Market talks to Chris Sargisson of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce

Maxwell Graham-Wood, owner of Satchells is an independent wine merchant based in Burnham Market. He was inspired to follow his nose, and enter into the wine trade by his father, an enthusiastic ‘claret man’.

I asked him what he felt were the everyday challenges he is facing right now with the uncertainty of Brexit looming.

He said due to the volume of wine coming in from the EU there will inevitably be some sort of impact on the wine trade. However, this is likely to only be in the short term. Any long-term delay in his opinion, will be crippling to the EU wine industry rather than our own.

Maxwell Graham-Wood, owner of Satchells. Photo by Oliver Nelson (22016167)
Maxwell Graham-Wood, owner of Satchells. Photo by Oliver Nelson (22016167)

He said: "As a nation spending £14 billion per year, this makes us an invaluable consumer for the global wine industry, not just the EU. Fortunately, the availability of wine is unlikely to be a long-term issue so there are few everyday problems to contend with."

In light of this, I asked if he was looking to stockpile in advance of any changes, or factor in any additional costs.

His answer was 'yes', but only so far as is necessary to cover the demands of the customer. "Should the current Brexit deadline, be met this puts us squarely in the quietest time of year thus mitigating any potential added costs," he said.

I also asked if the increased awareness in sustainability had an impact on him as a wine merchant.

He said: "It’s increasingly important within the wine industry and as a shop we are phasing out plastic wherever practical. Regarding the industry as a whole, at the middle to higher end of the market there have been significant moves towards sustainability and organic practices. Our primary focus is on the £10 to £20 range, which means the vast majority of our products are sustainably grown with a large amount certified as such.

"The UK is a gold mine for the wine industry, and with demand remaining stable there will always be wine producing nations willing to relieve us of our £14 billion."

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