Naked Wines signs up Rod Easthope

New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope, who recently resigned as chief winemaker of Craggy Range, will make an exclusive range of wines for Naked Wines in a £300,000 project.

He is also joining the online retailer as a consultant winemaker.

The appointment has been made thanks to Naked Wines securing its 100,000th Angel, or investor – which means it is bringing in £2 million a month.

Naked Wines founder and chief executive Rowan Gormley said: “Rod is an immense talent and we’re delighted to be investing in such a big name, which is a step change for the business and testament to what we’ve achieved to date. With our Angels investing over £2 million a month towards future orders, their reputation is spreading and we’ve got some exciting winemakers knocking on our door.”

Easthope said: “It’s been a lifelong dream to be my own boss, and the Naked Wines’ model is finally making that dream come true. I’ve had a fantastic seven years at Craggy Range, but I’m really excited to join the Naked team, get started on a new project, and produce an exclusive range of wines under my own name – at scale. I know where all the best grapes are hiding, and now I have the backing to put them to best use and share them with the UK public.”

His first two Naked wines – a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Gris from Hawkes Bay – are to reach the UK in October, but Naked Wines Angels can pre-order cases from February 23, with a 50% saving.

Pinot Noirs from Marlborough and Central Otago are also in the pipeline.

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