Canning sparkling wine, with Henry Connell

Love Business with Alan Wick

10-05-2023 • 58 mins

Do wine and cans go together like strawberries and cream? Henry thinks so!

England is now the most exciting sparkling wine region in the world. Causing some of that stir is The Uncommon, the revolutionary British winemaker. Their innovative choice to can, rather than bottle, their wines has a lighter environmental footprint, is brilliantly convenient and keeps their spritzy, aromatic wines fresher for longer.

The Uncommon came to be in 2017, when Henry Connell and his partner, Alex Thraves, decided to make and market ‘unbelievably good bubbly’ in the South East of England.

They are proud to be the first winemakers in the UK to be Certified B Corp, joining a global community that uses business as a force for good.

And their quirky, distinctively designed packaging says a lot about their brand’s personality!

In this interesting and motivational interview, Henry:

  • Shares the story of how packaging their wine in cans came about, going on to talk about some of the benefits of canned wine, including sustainability and convenience for the customer.

  • Talks about why a new business he’s developing is based in New Zealand, and his plans for starting similar businesses in Australia and North America in the future.

  • Delves into how the stigma of new world wine and English wine has affected the perception of The Uncommon, and why England is excellent for sparkling wine production.

  • Describes the wine varieties that they produce, the grapes that they use, and some of the locations in which they produce the wine. He also touches on the effects of global warming on grape growing.

  • Gives an overview of what a B Corp is, including what The Uncommon had to do to be awarded the certification, and explores the mentality of balancing making money from a business versus sustainability in a business.

  • Reminisces about how The Uncommon got off the ground as a business, and the early opportunities they embraced, before going on to outline his goals for the business over the next few years.

  • Talks about having a pioneering spirit in business, and about educating the market by selling something that people don't yet realise that they want or need.

  • Discusses his work life balance, especially considering potential extra travel to New Zealand in the near future, and the strain that the first few years of a start up can put on finding time to focus on things outside of work.

  • Highlights some of the learnings from his time running The Uncommon, stressing the importance of partnership, hard work and passion, and not being too precious about equity or debt.