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 making waves in the wine industry.
The 20 year-old is balancing his studies with the success of his labelling company, Bewley and Ware, and has big plans for the future.
Working alongside the award-winning Camel Valley and Knightor vineyards on the south coast, George 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,” said George.
“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.”
George 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.
“The south coast wine makers are among the best in the country, so maintaining that identity has been key, as well as adding the personal touch for events and corporate clients we have supplied.”
Sam Lindo, winemaker at Camel Valley, praised George 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,” said Sam.
“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.”
George 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.”
George added: “I’m grateful to the support I’ve had from Falmouth University, which has given me firm foundations on which to build the company through support and advice, as well as resources and expertise I would not otherwise have received.
“It’s now up to me to complete my degree and take it forward, which I’m excited about.”
Professor Chris Jones, Director of Falmouth Business School, said no university is better placed to ensure students are “work-ready” on graduating.
“We are supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders, and the ideas they have are already fascinating, focused on different sectors and collaboration.”
“George is among them, his business is superb and I know he will make a success of it. I’m happy that we were able to support him to this point and help him develop the brand.
“We wish him every success for the future.”
For more on Bewley and Ware, visit the website: https://www.bewleyandware.co.uk/
Visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/falmouth-business-school for more from Falmouth Business School.