Invivo, Waikato’s winery financially backed by British talkshow host Graham Norton, has signed a nationwide distribution agreement with Lion from last month.
The eight-year-old winery, which produces Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Invivo Marlborough Pinot Gris and Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc, is thrilled its wines will be widely available through Lion’s customers around New Zealand.
Co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron say the news is good for Invivo’s investors and fans. “Rob and I set out to make wine that people like us would enjoy drinking – so this exciting partnership means Invivo drinkers all over the country will now find our wines widely available through Lion’s customers across New Zealand,” Lightbourne says.
Invivo started in difficult times, launching in the middle of the GFC with limited funds and forcing Lightbourne and Cameron to sleep on mates’ couches in the UK when visiting customers. It has now been named a Deloitte Fast50 company and exports its wines to 17 countries.
The Lion deal caps off a significant couple of years for Invivo that have included:
• New Zealand’s first $2 million crowd equity raise
• Flying grapes to London for Graham Norton to stomp on set for use in his signature wine
• Welcoming Norton as an investor and appointing him ‘chief Winemaker’ to blend his award-winning 2015 SauviGNon Blanc
• Selling more than 400,000 bottles of Norton’s wine since October last year
• Monthly wine sales topping $1 million for the first time
• Moving into historic Te Kauwhata winery with a team of eight, bottling up to 12,000 bottles a day
• Launching an Australian distribution deal covering 1200 BWS outlets nationwide
• Currently running nationwide TV campaign in Australia.
Lion NZ managing director Rory Glass says “Invivo is a great Kiwi success story, showing impressive growth since its launch in 2008 through a combination of innovative marketing, some high profile brand ambassadors, and most importantly…great wine. We’re excited to partner with Invivo to distribute its award-winning wines throughout New Zealand.”