This month’s spotlight falls on Will Hargrove, Head of Fine Wine. Find out more about his role at C&B and what he likes to do apart from tasting fine wine.
Q) Tell us a bit about you and your role at Corney & Barrow?
So, I am Head of Fine Wine which is a role I have had for 8 or 9 years now, having started at C&B back in 1998. It really crosses over between the selling and buying side of wine from visiting and tasting to selling direct to private customers, to the broking side as well as doing events. Certainly, never dull, or boring! I get to meet many amazing people.
Q) How did you end up working in wine? Did you always have a passion for wine?
What else do you do with a Sports Studies degree? Essentially, I realised early on after selling advertising (indifferently) that I had to work in something I was passionate about and preferably rather obsessed with. My father and Grandfather had always been interested and the wine bug bit early on. Port was one of the first areas I first looked at and it just grew from there. One of the main attractions is that wine is never static – you simply can’t ever master it.
Q) What has been your favourite wine experience so far and why?
Too many to mention really but certainly anytime you visit a region and see the passion and commitment that it put in is a highlight. Introducing people to wines they then love is always special and actually quite a privilege. If forced for one more specific time then maybe my first visit to Piedmont – a region I love for many reasons.
Q) Tell us about your passion for Hockey and how some of the members of your local club now have an interest in wine?
Well, I have always been sport obsessed and played everything I can. After School I had to choose between Rugby and Hockey in the winter and chose the former which I played until 36 when the body cried “enough”. So, after two years of no team sport, I was going quietly mad(er) and got back into Hockey at Southgate Hockey club which included three seasons playing in a team with my son Charlie, a special thing to do. Now I play whenever I can. I’ve done a few tastings for the members over zoom and now in person and the Club stocks only C&B wines so it seems to be going well…
Q) What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in the wine industry?
Talk to as many people in the trade as you can. Read and watch anything wine related you can find. Taste as much as you can and don’t ever be afraid to ask a question (however silly it may feel). Wine is every bit as much about the people as well as the wine itself.
Q) What is your ultimate tip when it comes to sourcing and buying wines?
Taste as much as possible, everyone’s palate is different, be open minded and trust people’s advice (until proven otherwise!). Try not to be obsessed by price.
Q) When you are not selling or tasting wine what might we find you doing?
Well, hockey as above, and a bit of golf too but generally wine and sport dominate!