Battersea-based wine business Benchmark Drinks – which is responsible for developing Botham Wines and distributing Graham Norton Wines – is tapping into new international markets thanks to a £750,000 funding package from HSBC UK.

The fast-growing beverage company, which was established in 2018, has used the finance to support export plans to a number of priority countries. Benchmark Drinks is now exporting to Australia, Ireland, Spain, the Caribbean and Bahrain, with further plans to distribute its wines to Dubai, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. 

Benchmark Drinks also employs seven members of staff in its Northamptonshire distribution centre and, as a direct result of the finance, has hopes to introduce more jobs in the UK. The funding has also put the company in a stronger position to enable them to sign a five-year distribution agreement with the Australian retail giant, Woolworths Group.

Following the agreement Benchmark’s wines are now being sold in 1,300 outlets across the country and the company has seen a 150% increase in its turnover. In addition, Sir Ian Botham’s ‘Botham Wines’, which the company is responsible for developing, are now being sold in two major UK supermarkets.

Paul Schaafsma, Managing Director of Benchmark Drinks, said: 

“Having started exporting in our inaugural year, HSBC UK’s backing will further fuel our expansion plans. Our vision is to make our brands household names across the globe, so we’re excited to start this journey and be in a position to share our wines with the rest of the world.”

David Hamblin, South London Regional Director for HSBC UK’s Business Banking, said:

“We’re glad to be a part of Benchmark Drinks’ ambitious growth plans. As the company continues to make its mark in the wine industry, we look forward to working with them further as they continue to expand their global footprint.”