David, like many before him, started out in the wine trade donning the green T-shirt at Majestic Wine back in 2005 on a graduate programme. At Majestic, David completed his WSET Level 3 and after a year managed the Battersea branch. Realising the need to bridge the gap between managing the store and getting into the more commercial side of wine, David decided to head to Adelaide, Australia to do a Masters in Wine Marketing & Business with leading wine academic, Prof. Larry Lockshin. During his time in Adelaide, David lived and breathed wine whether it be studying on the course, carrying out research or trying his hand at wine-making in the Adelaide Hills. The core of David’s research in Adelaide revolved around looking at consumer behaviour in wine retail and his thesis ‘Boozing or Branding: The Effect of In Store Tastings on Sales’, won David the NSW Scholarship Award, publication in Wine Marketing International and earned him a spot in the worlds ‘Top 25 Most Influential People in the Australian Wine Trade’.
After completing his masters in 2008, David took up a role as Wine Buyer with MMI, a subsidiary of the Emirates Group based in Dubai. During his 4 years at MMI, David managed a number of leading wine brands for the 4 million case wine company, including the likes of Antinori, Yellowtail, Pernod Ricard, Bollinger, Oyster Bay and Concha Y Toro amongst others. His time there gave him key commercial experience in every sales channel from duty free all the way through to 5* hotel chains.
It was time to come back home to London in 2012 and David decided he wanted to return to his real passion – small production, hand crafted wines so started The Knotted Vine in early 2013.
The Knotted Vine’s aim was, and is, to provide the most exciting range of hand crafted, minimal intervention wines whilst offering a high level of customer service. We love wines that have a real sense of place and grape variety and have been made by passionate, dedicated winemakers. Nearly 5 years on, The Knotted Vine now supplies over 200 customers and has grown the portfolio to a carefully chosen list of around 50 producers. We have become a beacon for people looking for small production wines and continue to work with fire in our hearts and wine in our glass!
Q&A with David Knott
Why did you get into the wine trade?
I wanted to do something I loved, I decided one day (whilst working at Majestic) that I wanted to be the best of the best, and would dedicate my life to wine from that day forward.
What is the best part about your job?
Educating people about wine and eating at great restaurants.
Where is the most interesting vineyard you’ve ever visited?
Siesta in Mendoza, Argentina. The whole place is like a giant playground, with antique motorbikes and a labyrinth of vineyards. The owner is a rich young Argentinian, and he knows how to have fun!
What are the hot wines to look out for in 2018?
Lesser known Western Australia has some fantastic Germanic varieties (Riesling and Gewurztraminer) that are absolutely stunning. Portugal is also still on the up and up.
Favourite restaurant (as of today)
Lorne (Victoria), it has a fantastic wine list, which for me really represents a ‘proper’ restaurant, it also has lovely clean cooking, is bright and the service friendly and personal.
My top wines (as of today)
La Violetta Up! Shiraz 2014, Great Southern, Australia
A masterfully crafted batch of Shiraz, just 1,200 bottles ever made by wine making legend Andrew Hoadley. This cool climate Shiraz is uber pure and bursting with fruit, so much depth and ideal for lazy Sunday afternoon sipping.
Druida Encruzados Reserva 2016, Dão, Portugal
Recently voted best Portuguese white by Decanter magazine, this wine proves that Portugal are making wines at the very highest level. A barrel fermented white using only wild yeasts and then aged for 10 months, this drinks like a Montrachet. Wonderful oak notes yet still fresh and with the salinity one would expect from this marvellous grape variety (Encruzados).