This week New Zealand winery Invivo and collaborator Graham Norton hosted ‘The Great British Pub Quiz’. The event brought together some of the most powerful wine critics and buyers in wine to compete against each other. With the calibre of guests, the event marked a key moment in New Zealand wine history.
Arguably one of the most influential people in wine globally, Jancis Robinson OBE MW was a guest host, joining Graham and Invivo Cofounders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron. Formidable wine critic Jancis Robinson is author of ‘The World of Atlas of wine’, a highly respected wine reference.
In aid of industry charity The Drinks Trust and hosted at the infamous The White Horse pub in Parson’s Green, London, in attendance at the event were buyers that collectively purchase over five billion pounds (NZD 9.46 billion) of wine from the UK’s major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado, Majestic and Waitrose. Other industry legends including Oz Clarke OBE – credited as the man that put New Zealand wine on the map back in the eighties – and New Zealand Acting High Commissioner Shannon Austin was also in attendance.
New Zealand exported $434 million NZD of wine to the UK in 2021, and thanks to the historic free trade agreement signed earlier this year and a larger 2022 harvest, this number is expected to grow significantly.
During the evening, accompanied by Graham Norton’s award-winning range of wines and spirits, quizzers put their heads together tackling questions covering everything from music, to sports, general knowledge and – of course – wine.
Invivo cofounder Tim Lightbourne comments
“When we were speaking at the opening of the event, looking around the room, I couldn’t believe the names we had in attendance from the industry, we were very honoured that such influential people had come to our special pub quiz, it was a credit to the collaboration we have with Graham.”
Innovative Kiwi winery has partnered with Graham Norton for nine years to create an award-winning wine brand with ten wines and spirits, distributed in 10 countries globally.
Graham Norton said, “It’s humbling to see the warm reception my wines have received, since we launched our first vintage nine years ago. I don’t just put my name to the wines, I’m involved, and I love being part of the process with New Zealand winery Invivo. Hosting a UK-based event for the Graham Norton wine and spirits range for the first time has been one of the highlights of my year. It’s been an absolute pleasure hosting alongside Jancis Robinson and meeting the UK’s wine trade, all the while supporting The Drinks Trust and their fantastic cause.”
Invivo founder Rob Cameron attributes the success of the range and the partnership to Graham’s passion for wine, “Graham is so involved in the process – he personally tastes, blends and signs off on every vintage with us and he has a great palate. It’s always a blast coming together and making great wines. That’s what Invivo is all about.”
Launched in 2014, Graham Norton wines is the brainchild of Invivo and Norton who have built the brand into a global success story over the years, now available in ten countries. From an initial run of 12,000 bottles in its first year, Invivo produced its 15 millionth bottle of the Graham Norton range in 2021 and has been awarded more than 200 awards, accolades, and 90+ point scores over the years. One bottle of Graham Norton wines and spirits is sold every 10 seconds.