Sommelier-driven insights will drive premiumisation, says DGB.
In a move that speaks to the company’s dynamic culture, wine and spirit producer and distributor DGB (Pty) Ltd, has appointed Germain Lehodey as a sommelier and wine ambassador in their Premium Wine Development team. DGB is now one of few wine businesses globally to have a sommelier on its sales team.
Born in Normandy, France, Lehodey is one of South Africa’s most experienced sommeliers and joins DGB with an impressive resumé which includes a number of industry awards – including credit for developing the Best Winelist in Africa, at the renowned Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria.
Lehodey’s extensive knowledge in food-and-wine appreciation, as well as his academic and professional background in hospitality and tourism, secured him this position at DGB.
Jacques Roux, Wine Marketing Director at DGB, said that Lehodey’s appointment seeks to address two major trends in the wine industry: education and premiumisation.
“Industry insights show that consumers are increasingly interested in wine as a subject and are actively seeking to have a knowledgeable conversation about wine. Education is a key driver of wine sales in South Africa and a conversation which DGB have been very involved in the past and we are keen to expand and develop as the market develops. We look forward to driving conversations and associated interest in our wine with Germain as the coach,” said Roux.
Lehodey, who contributed to setting course papers for the Cape Wine Academy’s Sommeliers course, is perfectly versed in wine education. He said he looks forward to stepping into his role at DGB. “Wine is one of man’s best creations. Winemakers can transform grape juice into a civilised and sophisticated beverage that brings people together. Personally, I always associate wine with the best moments in life. I look forward to share this lifestyle focus with the DGB team, and the market,” said Lehodey.
DGB’s portfolio includes Boschendal, Bellingham, Brampton and Franschhoek Cellar to name a few, and Lehodey will be actively involved across all brands.
“The premiumisation of wine businesses in South Africa is an important development and closely associated with wine education. Germain will not only better educate our own sales representatives but also the hospitality industry and the on-trade buyers,” said Roux.
He added: “I believe that with his wealth of experience and knowledge he will be a valuable asset and play an important role in establishing a better understanding of premium brands and their role in our lives.”