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.
Meridian Wine Merchants, operating as a wine distribution business in Gauteng only, was acquired by Gavin Dittmar on 1 November 1998.
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.
Meridian Wine Merchants Cape franchise was created in Cape Town.
Meridian Wine Merchants Coastal franchise was created in Durban.
Meridian Wine Merchants Garden Route franchise was created in Port Elizabeth
Meridian Wine Merchants acquired 50% of the wine distribution business, Liquid Assets.
The 'Cool Wines' temperature controlled distribution concept was launched.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meridian Wine Merchants celebrate 20 years of business.