Our journey

1997 Meridian Wine Merchants was founded on 19 September 1997 by Johan Laubscher and Alex Dale of Longridge Winery as a distribution company for their wines, as well as a selection of other local and international wines in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

1998 Meridian Wine Merchants, operating as a wine distribution business in Gauteng only, was acquired by Gavin Dittmar on 1 November 1998.

1999 Solly Kramer joined as a partner in July, followed by Historic Wines of the Cape owned by Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and Anthonij Rupert, who acquired 50% of Meridian Wine Merchants in November 1999.

2000 Meridian Wine Merchants Cape franchise was created in Cape Town.  Meridian Wine Merchants Coastal franchise was created in Durban. 2001 Meridian Wine Merchants Garden Route franchise was created in Port Elizabeth 2006 Meridian Wine Merchants acquired 50% of the wine distribution business, Liquid Assets. 2007 The 'Cool Wines' temperature controlled distribution concept was launched.

2009 All regional franchises as well as Liquid Assets were merged and three separate companies were created:

- Meridian Holdings (holding company, management & services)

- Meridian Wine Merchants (sales & marketing)

- Cool Wines (logistics & operations) 

The shareholding was restructured. Hein Koegelenberg and Cobus De Villiers acquired shares, while Solly Kramer sold his shares.

We were awarded the Business day Best Wine Company award.

2011 The national sales team was restructured from an individual brand sales and marketing approach to area specific portfolio representation and national key account management aligned to industry best practice and improved service to our clients and customers. 

2013 We were awarded a PMR Africa Diamond Arrow Award for the first overall distributor and marketer in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages in a random survey of 145 trade customers.

2014 We received the PMR Diamond Arrow and first overall distributor and marketer award in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages for the second year.

2015 For the third consecutive year, we received the PMR Diamond Arrow and first overall distributor and marketer award in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages.

2016  We received the PMR Diamond Arrow Award and first overall distributor and marketer in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages for the fourth consecutive year.

2017 Meridian Wine Merchants celebrate 20 years of business and we received the PMR Diamond Arrow Award and first overall distributor and marketer in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages for the fifth consecutive year.

2018 It's our 21st Birthday and we are delighted to celebrate another PMR Diamond Arrow Award and first overall distributor and marketer in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages for another consecutive year. That's every year since 2013! 

2019 We receive another PMR Diamond Arrow Award and first overall distributor and marketer in the category of wine, spirits and other beverages for the seventh consecutive year.

Shane Allchin is appointed as our Managing Director and Gavin Dittmar becomes Group Chief Executive Officer. 

Cool Wines (Pty) Ltd changes its company name to Meridian Wine Distribution (Pty) Ltd. in October 2019. Meridian Wine Distribution will continue with exactly the same service as Cool Wines as the distributor for Meridian Wine Merchants, Craft Liquor Merchants, Campari and Epicurean Wines.