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Article: Novel Wines named Santander Awards semi-finalist!

Novel Wines names as Santander Semi Finalist 2017

Novel Wines named Santander Awards semi-finalist!

What a month June was! We travelled up to Wolverhampton to pitch to Santander our exciting new wine business. Our co-founder Ben Franks, a graduate of Bath Spa University, was one of only 60 student and graduate entrepreneurs across the UK to be shortlisted for Santander’s regional heats. Along with our friend and Bath-based entrepreneur Alex Kiely we were representing south west enterprise in style in the Central region heats.

The pitch went really well and it was a great opportunity to share all the areas of the business. We got some brilliant feedback and a lot of people got visibly excited about what we’re doing, which is so rewarding.

Ben Franks Santander Semi Finalist Novel Wines pitch 2017

Ben said: “The nerves kicked in just before the pitch. We had six judges and around 30 friendly faces waiting to hear me chat wine, which is daunting for anyone, but as soon as I was in the swing it was brilliant fun. We ran a wine tasting shortly after the pitch and that’s when everyone got truly excited!”

At the post-pitch tasting, Ben showed off our English white wine Oatley Leonora’s, the new Indian red Fratelli Sette, the indulgently sweet and appley Monsoon Valley Late Harvest Chenin Blanc and the spicy, soft Lebanese rose Chateau Ksara Sunset. Alongside these truly unique wines, Ben shared the very special Grace Koshu Kayagatake - a wine with a special place in Ben’s heart ever since Shigekazu Misawa flew over from Japan to gift a tank sample of his next vintage.

Unfortunately we didn’t get through to the final. That honour went to a brilliant private ambulance business and a very creative, determined artist and designer. Nevertheless Novel Wines came home a proud semi-finalist. We’re doing pretty well so early on and looking for the next challenge!