The Story of Pudao Wines so far
In November of 2008 Ian Ford, the Founding Partner of Summergate, and I lunched in Ferguson Lane and after a long a particularly good long lunch Ian took a set of keys from his pocket and wandered over to the far corner of the Lane- The first Glimpse of what was to become Pudao Wines. Ian had always wanted to expand the wine business to retail, and I had been in the front line with wine consumers in restaurants both in London and Shanghai. It took almost 6 months to sort out the format, the design and branding and target market but by late May we were ready to go. We had a small tasting with Blair Walter from Felton Road one evening in late May- please excuse Felton’s special place in our hearts as first amongst many!!
Then we launched in early June with a series of tasting events, Michelle ran our store then and set us on a great path of warm and friendly wine service which we hope to this day continues. We battled with our English name calling ourselves the “Wine Way” but we realized quite early that the name was awful and anyway the majority of our staff and customer’s called us Pudao in any case. By 2011 we were ready for Beijing and with a newly branded business and a wonderful team led by Jim Yang.
By our rough estimate we have hosted almost a thousand tastings both big and small over the past 8 years, sampling several thousand different wines with our customers. Many of our first generation of customers became friends and many moved on to wine full time either in the media or in business- for those that started with us we hope wine brings you as much fun and enjoyment as it does for us. Those first six months of Saturday tastings in the Shanghai store would now look like a who’s who of educators and influencers in the World of Wine in China.
Try before you buy has always been the mantra, taste the wine, love a wine and hopefully buy wine is what we are here for. We hope to be here for many years to come.