The La Barrique story ... so far ....
A long long time ago in a place far far away … saw the dawn of the unique fine wine store named La Barrique … well it was July 1991, on the busy corner of Bassett and Remuera Roads in Auckland, New Zealand. Twenty-one years later, under the enduring LaBarrique banner, you can be find some of the best wines from Europe, Australia, South Africa, the Americas and our own local stars from Aotearoa.
Tom Reid established LaBarrique (French term for ‘the barrel’) to be more than a liquor store. Tom wished to create a centre for wine and food appreciation and a place to share wine knowledge. His passion for wine and food was infectious, which could be seen through the well-trained staff that was always ready to answer the wants of customers palettes.
January 2002 saw Tom’s desire for a temperature-controlled cellar come to fruition at the new additional premise in Mt Eden. This cellar held both old and new vintages of some of the world’s most famous wine labels. To further indulge his love of fine food, a full commercial kitchen was installed on the first floor, in which monthly wine and food appreciation dinners would be held. Invited celebrity chefs would create a mouth-watering six course menu to which Tom would skilfully match ten wines to each course. These W.A.F.A dinners, as they became affectionately known, were a tremendous success.
Tom’s desire to share his love of wine with others would often find weekend visitors to the Mt Eden store with a glass of wine in one hand, and a nibble of his latest culinary creation in the other, whilst wandering the cellar … now that is how to shop! Today that tradition is continued in the form of weekly in-store wine tastings which can also include wine makers, vintners and other experts able to share with you their unique wine knowledge.
In the start La Barrique concentrated on selling the best of New Zealand and Australian wines as well as housing a delicatessen section selling gourmet food products, so the store quickly becoming a leader in the Auckland wine industry. Today an array of quality wines, craft beers, aperitifs and spirits from around the globe adorn the shelves in the original premises of LaBarrique in Remuera.
In 2011, La Barrique was sold to a new partnership under the direction of Juliette Lynch. Juliette’s wine education started with Britain’s biggest retailer of wines, Majestic Wines, in their South Kensington branch. Juliette graduated from their management programme and stayed on for a further four years. Upon her return to New Zealand, Juliette again cemented her knowledge and passion for wine by completing a Bachelor of Wine Business and Marketing at Roseworthy College, now Adelaide University in Australia.
Rudy Nel joined the La Barrique team in 2012 as Retail Manager. Rudy brings to the store a wealth of knowledge and passion for wine, and the desire to share that with the customers. Rudy’s role is providing our customers with first-class service and ensuring La Barrique stocks the finest selection of wines from all over NZ and around the world. Finding the right wine for the right customer is what he enjoys most about being in the store. Rudy’s adventure with wine began during his student days in Stellenbosch, South Africa, working part-time at a few cellar doors. It wasn’t until his arrival in New Zealand in 2004, however, that he became involved in the wine trade full-time. After completing a course in Wine Business & Tourism at Otago University, Rudy worked as a sales assistant at Scenic Cellars in Taupo where he became familiar with over 3000 different wine labels. After three years in Hawke’s Bay working in an administrative role, the lure of the wine industry brought him to Auckland where Rudy worked for a distributor specialising in NZ and international fine wines. Rudy loves all styles of wine but has a particular fondness for Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Outside of wine, he enjoys playing squash, going to the movies or heading to the beach for some surfi
As 2012 marks the 21st year of La Barrique Wine Merchants, it also marks the start to the next chapter in wine frivolity on the corner of Bassett and Remuera Roads in Auckland… now online and beyond. A votre santé!