Our journey began, perhaps unsurprisingly, with a love of wine. Rob took on a role as finance manager at fine wine merchants Goedhuis & Co. The tradition was for the team to get together on Fridays for a wine tasting. These wines were a revelation for him, having only ever drunk bland mass-produced wines from supermarkets and online wine clubs. In his own words... "It was a eureka moment. I was blind and then I could see. From that day I knew wine would be my big passion in life and when I decided to hang up my Abacus, my passion became a profession.” So, he decided to go “all-in” to create a wine business so that he could help others to also discover this incredible “nectar from the Gods”.
Rob is wise for his years and knew he couldn't do it alone. So he enrolled his friend, Dale, a sports and events marketer by trade, to (rather audaciously) co-found a new wine merchant. In what is one of the oldest industries on the planet. From scratch. And fit for the 21st century. He also brought on board Robin Kick, one of only 400 or so Masters of Wines on the planet, to build a portfolio of dazzling new-to-the-UK small-batch wines, from family-run wineries around the world.
It was a recipe for success and Wine&Something launched in 2019. Underpinned by leading technology, the new company was inspired by life’s simplest pleasures. A love of family. A passion for friendship. Oh – and an obsessive appreciation for the joy of wine. But only the really good, really affordable stuff.
The business got off to a rapid start, with lots of restaurants commissioning Dale and Rob to help them curate their wine lists. The wind was in their sales.
And then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Enter Martin & Toby
Meanwhile, university friends Toby and Martin were attempting to put the world to rights over a glass of red during a lockdown zoom call. It occurred to them that they had no idea what impact the wine they were enjoying was having on the planet. As they tried to uncover the sustainability credentials of the wines they were consuming they found it surprisingly difficult to gather accurate and comparable information - from the farming of the land, to the winemaking, from packaging to distribution, and from consumption through to packaging waste.
In other areas of their lives they were able to make conscious purchasing decisions, and they wanted to be able to do the same in wine. But there was no one catering to this need. So they decided to so something about it, and launched Collectivino in 2021, with a mission to “mainstream sustainable wines”.
And two became one...
In 2023, Collectivino partnered with Wine&Something for warehousing and logistics. Both sets of founders got to know each other and found a shared passion for wine, and for doing business in the right way. There were great synergies between the businesses with complementary wine portfolios, and a growing base of loyal fans and advocates. So, they decided to join forces. And on 1 September 2023, Wine&Earth was born.