Virtual drinks parties are one of the most popular ways to keep entertained during lockdown. Four Corners Wine have taken this to the next level by offering international oenophiles access to truly unique and innovative tastings.
Four Corners Wine is a merchant that specialises in importing the finest Californian expressions to the UK. It was established by wine obsessives Stuart Young and Matt Thompson in 2015, when the pair bonded over the belief that California is home to some of the world’s finest vintages. Four Corners Wine now has a unique relationship with many of the region’s most exclusive producers including Bevan Cellars, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Futo, Dana Estates, Realm Cellars, Sloan Estate and Saxum Vineyard. Many of these producers make only small amounts of wine that are very difficult for UK customers to find, especially at allocation prices. Four Corners facilitates customers’ access to these wines on first allocation rather than on the secondary market, making it easier to stock the wine fridge with exclusive and delicious vintages.
A Four Corners ‘Live from the Vineyard’ virtual tasting starts with an aerial tour of the region’s topography before taking tasters to a vineyard via Zoom. A wine maker will then take participants on a tour of the winery before leading a guided tasting of two wines. Groups are limited to 10 people to keep the experience as intimate as possible. Customers can buy a set of six bottles of wine from Four Corners, with two coming from each winery. The case allows customers to take part in three separate one-hour tastings on dates agreed with the group.
The tasting is a truly interactive experience, with videos sent to the group of the wines leaving the warehouse by courier in a private WhatsApp group. Customers, who are based across the world, are encouraged to keep in touch and build anticipation ahead of the tasting including discussing food pairings and expectations.
Speaking about the tasting initiative, Stuart Young said: “Like many businesses, we have been forced to adapt our model. With clients and winemakers unable to travel, we have created a tasting experience that builds community and shares our passion for the finest California wines. The feedback from the first tasting, with clients in seven different countries, was phenomenal and we’ve since expanded with groups of friends organising private tastings as well as new friendship circles formed through a mutual love of great wine. Even when physical events can take place again, we expect to continue our virtual tasting experiences, such is their popularity and reach.”
A six-bottle mixed case, of two wines each from three different vineyards, including three one-hour tastings led by Four Corners Wine with the respective winemaker, costs from £750 plus delivery. Tastings will run throughout May, June and July. The next tasting will take place on Thursday 28 May, and will contrast the 2016 and 2017 vintages from James Berry Vineyard. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, fourcorners.wine