Wine sellers put on Berry good show on sidelines

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 March, 2009, 12:00am

Berry Bros & Rudd has been around even longer than rugby itself. The apocryphal tale is that in 1823 William Webb Ellis first took the ball in his arms and ran with it at Rugby School in the United Kingdom, thus originating the distinctive feature of the game.

Berry Bros & Rudd had already been running their operation in St James' Square in London for 135 years, first supplying wine to the British royal family during the reign of King George III, and it continues to do so.

Berry's opened in Hong Kong in 1999 and has been making inroads into rugby circles, supplying the wine for the 'Dine with Legends' event this week at the Renaissance Harbour View, and their Bledisloe Dinner in November at the Marriott.

Amanda Parker, who runs the new wine school at Berry's, says: 'As an Australian working for such a British company, which specialises in French Bordeaux and being here watching the rugby today with a Kiwi winemaker who supplies to us makes for almost a rugby Sevens of wine.'

Added rugby fervent David Hall Jones, the owner of the Surveyor Thomson vineyard in New Zealand's Central Otago: 'Otago and Southland have a huge history of producing All Blacks, including the likes of Steve Poker, Lester Rutledge, Kenny Stewart and Jeff Wilson. A diet of New Zealand lamb and Otago pinot noir is clearly the driver here.'

New Zealand have been victorious at the Sevens nine times. So it's no surprise another New Zealand wine, Sacred Hill, is the official wine supplier.