Christmas gifts that mean something

Posted: Friday, 24 May 2019 @ 16:19

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat but it’s also a chance to give gifts that mean something instead of lots of festive tat.

As a business supporting the growth of other businesses, consumerism and capitalism are very much at the forefront of our interests at Rivers Leasing, and we wouldn’t ever pretend otherwise. However, we have always been big advocates of quality in everything that we do from our customer service to the principles that we have built our business on.

A material world

The concept of giving is a really interesting one at this time of year.  Culturally it feels as though there is the beginnings of a shift away from throwaway culture, sparked by both an awakening awareness of the impact of our daily habits on the environment, as well as a growing collective desire to support small businesses with a tangible human connection.  Nonetheless, the feel good factor of giving and receiving is what fuels this heady season.

Giving a gift that means something, while standing by your principles takes time and consideration, and at Rivers Leasing we take our present giving extremely seriously.  We want to provide those we know and love with something that we have really thought about, and that represents the things we stand for. That is to say British SMEs that are growing and thriving on integrity and principle.

Quintessentially British

We always give our gifts great consideration, and this year has been no exception, teaming up with The English Wine Collection - a small, family run business introduced to us by a member of our team.  English wine is a particularly interesting commodity at the moment. Once a concept that sparked derision from our European counterparts, today English wines are competing in blind tastings against wines from around the world, and coming out on top.  

In addition to a catalogue of international wine awards which have even seen English sparkling wines trump Champagnes, this year also saw Sussex vineyard Nyetimber’s own head winemaker Cherie Spriggs win Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge 2018.  In doing so she became the first winemaker from outside Champagne to have won the award in the history of the International Wine Challenge.

A champion of English wine

While the English wine product as a whole continues to grow and thrive, The English Wine Collection, founded in 2017 by Guy Heywood, was amongst the first online retail outlets to be dedicated to English wine.  The concept for the store was inspired by Guy’s own love of a premium shopping experience, and as a result his vision for the company hinges on customer service and an enjoyable shopping experience. He offers personal recommendations and a nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude.  One of the most popular features of the business has also been the opportunity that customers have to buy mixed cases from one single source.

One of the things that Guy has been keen to highlight through the English Wine Collection, are the very personal stories that each of the vineyards has to offer, and which he shares avidly across his site.  While some are beginning to grow into much larger businesses, the majority of English vineyards are a labour of love for those behind them. Many are family run, and for almost everyone involved in English wine, it is a high quality product born of a personal passion.

For his efforts, Guy has been rewarded after a mere 18 months of trading, by being named in the finalists for the 2019 Peoples Choice Wine Awards this year in the Best Independent Wine Merchant category (winner to be announced in February next year).

What it means to us

So while on the face of it it may look as though our gifts this year are simply bottles of wine, in fact they are a lot more than that.  They are bottles of wine from a small company striving for success, that supports other small companies across the UK. In turn, we give them to the people who also help us to support the growth of small British businesses.  In that, we find that by putting meaningful thought into our gifts at Christmas, we can give something to those around us that really does mean something.


Rivers Leasing plc

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