The people of Hallgarten! Whilst everybody is currently working from home, we took this as an opportunity to help you get to know the team better. Today we have spoken to Tim Gray, Account Manager in the Hallgarten London team.
How long have you worked for Hallgarten and what do you do at the company?
Three years in April. I handle new business in East and North London across the on-trade, indie off-trade and crossover sectors, whilst managing a handful of central London on-trade accounts.
What first got you into wine?
A few things… my grandad used to send my Dad Laithwaites mixed cases which my Dad used to pack me off to Uni with; so a classic evening meal would be a tin of cold baked beans washed down by a nice Cru Bourgeois. Secondly, I did my dissertation on the French wine industry, for a Business & Finance degree, somehow managing to shoehorn in some relevance to my actual degree. And lastly I worked for a brewery during my placement year from Uni and fell in love with the booze industry and the people within it!
Tell us about your hobbies…
I played a lot of rugby as a kid and young adult, so still try to play touch rugby weekly; I spent a few years heading out to Dubai each December to play for an invitational team in the Dubai 7s. I love going skiing, though I’m currently rehabbing a ruptured ACL. Otherwise I like reading pretty bad fiction novels and spending time outdoors.
An interesting fact about yourself?
I spent a year in the Philippines working for a Marine Salvage Operator and Ship Agency.
The people of Hallgarten! Whilst everybody is currently working from home, we took this as an opportunity to help you get to know the team better. Today we have spoken to Christo Eliott Lockhart, Sales Manager in the Hallgarten London team.
How long have you worked for Hallgarten and what do you do there?
I have just completed 2 enjoyable years at Hallgarten. I am a Sales Manager in the London sales team. I have a very varied role looking after four account managers, also selling to the London restaurants and Independent Wine Merchants. I also look after the Fine Wine Merchants and Brokers in and around London.
What first got you into wine?
I was introduced to wine at the age of 14 as my French Exchange’s family (we are still good friend – He is my youngest daughter’s Godfather) are Billecart-Salmon Champagne. I went to visit and was initially fascinated by the size of a champagne cork before going into the bottle. Much later, during university I needed a holiday job and spent a summer working in wine and then on graduating I went back to the same job and within 2 weeks they had offered me a full time role. That was 20yrs ago…It’s all I know now!
Tell us about your hobbies or a random fact about yourself.
I am a mad keen sportsman (both as a fan and player). When not quarantined due to Coronavirus will play pretty much anything particularly golf, cricket, tennis, squash, skiing, hockey, football (not allowed to play rugby anymore!). I am lucky that my wife lets me and my young daughters also have the sports bug. I am also a trustee of the Wine Trade Sports Club Foundation supporting people in our industry who have fallen on hard times.
A random fact about myself?
Random fact is that I am a qualified Game Ranger (in South Africa)…Oh and I play the bagpipes.
Internships are a fantastic way of getting a sneak peak into an industry that you are looking to get experience working in. This summer, at Hallgarten, we welcomed Amica Zago, BA Wine Business student at Plumpton College to the team where she experienced all aspects of the organisation – here is what she thought:
“One tasting, one contact, one email and hey presto I got myself a summer internship at Hallgarten & Novum Wines.
“Wow…what an experience. Having an opportunity like this has helped me find my feet in the wine industry and helped me to understand the ins and outs of a business. Before this, I had never worked in an office or for a big company so that was an experience in itself.
“Luckily for me, I was also invited to help at tastings which I found an extremely useful tool for understanding a business through observing how a company sets up, displays and talks through their range. The wines at Hallgarten are all stunning, my favourites out of all the wines were definitely the Spanish Island wines, nevertheless all the wines I have tasted, I have adored!
“Although I did get to venture out a lot, more than I would have ever expected, my day to day tasks were office based. Researching prospects, competitor research and producing sell sheets were some of my main tasks over the three months. I also had the big task of checking out the financial side and margins the reps were working with.
“Not knowing before working at Hallgarten where in the industry my head was at, they allowed me to help in both the sales side and the marketing side of the business. I now know that both sides are areas where I would happily love to work! However, after spending several days out with the London Sales Reps, I have decided that sales is the job for me (well at least at the moment). It has been said that you are either made for sales or you aren’t; I suppose the only way to find that out is by giving it a go.”
Keep track on what Amica is up to in her journey through wine on her blog – KnowWine – or on Twitter and Instagram.
Beverly Tabbron MW, Head of Training:
My 2017 resolution is to continue to develop and grow the already burgeoning wine culture at Hallgarten, ensuring everyone within the business is able to gain the wine qualification they aspire to reach. Since starting the training department at Hallgarten it has been a joy to see so many of the team rise up the through the WSET levels, and this year I hope to see record numbers pick up their certificates.
Daniel O’Keefe, Sales Director – South:
I have been waxing lyrical over the delights to be found in Macedonia and the Peloponnese from producers such as Gerovassiliou, Gaia, Ktima Biblia Chora, Ktima Alpha andMonamvasia for the last 5 years. I am now resolved to visit these wineries, so that the next time I am asked during a wine event about local tourist facilities, I can look that person in the eye and give them an honest answer!
Robin Knapp, Director – Regional Sales:
This year I aim to spend less money on red wine and more on white. The reason – my cupboard at home is full to bursting of some fantastic red wine that needs to be drunk at a dinner party.
However, I more often than not opt to drink white wine and never seem to have enough in the house!
Joe Wadhams, Regional Business Development Director:
I plan to kick off 2017 by flipping Dry January on its head.
It’s all about Try January this year, and as I am new to the Hallgarten team there are a lot of new and exciting wines I need to taste – and quickly!