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Majestic man Johnstone launches new wine site

Majestic founder and former Chateau de Sours director Esme Johnstone has joined forces with David Campbell of the Everyman Library to launch a new wine website.

Fromvineyardsdirect.com delivers wine direct from vineyard to buyer. Johnstone reckons on being able to offer ‘20% or more’ discounts.

Campbell – who published France’s Guide Hachette des Vins – said the idea came because he was ‘annoyed at having to fork out £13.99… for a good 1er cru Chablis, and I had seen what the potential of the internet had done to book buying.’

Campbell is credited with turning around the fortunes of 100-year-old publisher the Everyman Library, re-launching the classic editions and turning a moribund publishing house into a runaway success.

At the end of the 1990s he raised funding for a project to give the entire 300 volumes of the Everyman main series to the library of each of Britain’s 4,300 state secondary schools.

Esme Johnstone was managing director and largest shareholder of Chateau de Sours in Bordeaux. He was one the founders of Majestic Wine, and acquired de Sours in 1990, with a number of shareholders.

He left de Sours in 2005 but works with present owner Martin Krajewski on a number of projects, particularly in producing the Songlines wines of South Australia.

Fromvineyardsdirect.com concentrates at the moment on French producers, with Bordeaux properties such as d’Angludet, du Glana, Fourcas-Dumont and Leoville Barton (the Reserve du Leoville Barton) represented, as well as Rhone – and, so far, one wine from Tuscany, the Ananda di Toscana from former Antinori winemaker Alberto Antonini.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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