A young entrepreneur has shown plenty of bottle in developing a wine business while studying at university.
George Bewley, a third year Entrepreneurship student at Falmouth University, is balancing his studies with the success of his labelling company, Bewley and Ware, and has big plans for the future.
Working alongside the Camel Valley and Knightor vineyards, Bewley launched the firm after attending a graduation ceremony two years ago.
Falmouth University Chancellor and comedy star Dawn French was among the many hundreds to have enjoyed the product, and supported his leap into the world of business.
“I went to my sister’s graduation and was pretty shocked at what little offering there was for the parents and families who had travelled all that distance for such a special occasion,” Bewley said.
“It was a missed opportunity, so I began thinking about what would be a nice touch on the day while also serving as a memento they could take home with them and capture the memory.
“A personalised, privately labelled wine bottle seemed like a really good idea, and the idea stuck.”
Bewley decided to pursue the concept on arrival at Falmouth, where he began to develop the branding – with the support of friend Francesca Ware – and was given the green light by the university’s events team to supply bottles for its upcoming graduation.
“I visited Camel Valley vineyard and they were onboard straight away, which was a big boost,” he added.
“I then started working with a designer to finalise the branding and options for producing the labels, trying to offer something different and unique to this region.
Sam Lindo, winemaker at Camel Valley, praised Bewley for making a success of the venture at such an early age.
“He’s done really well, it’s a good partnership and we enjoy working with him,” he said.
“Others have tried this in the past and not taken it as far as George, so well done to him, it’s a very interesting business and we wish him every success.”
Bewley now aims to branch out into merchandising, while exploring other areas of the drinks market.
“I’m looking at ciders and have joined forces with a local brewery to supply celebratory beers for Bewley and Ware,” he said.
“I’m also increasing the offer; looking at graduations and one-off events, people will come down for them and stay in the area, so there’s the tourism aspect. As part of the package there’s the oportunity to take a wine course or tour the vineyards, so it becomes more of an experience.
“There are so many directions I can take the business, it could roll out across the country and beyond, but here in Cornwall is definitely the best place to start as it’s probably the strongest area in the UK for wine production – we are right at the heart of it here.”