Welcome to the first in our Sponsor Spotlight series, where we’ll be profiling some of the fantastic partners that work alongside us at Sale Sharks and delving a little deeper into their businesses. First up is our official wine sponsor, Bruce Jack Wines, where we sat down with the company’s founder, Bruce Jack to learn a bit more about his winery, and how it came to be.
If you could sum up your business in a tweet (280 characters), what would you say?
Bruce Jack wines is contrarian, idealistic, ethical, sometimes grumpy, mostly optimistic, team-focused, intolerant of politicians, adventurous, obsessed with detail, family-owned, emotional, loyal, delicious, down-to-earth, dismissive of fashion trends, and always open.
Who’s your favourite Sharks player, past and present, and why?
Rugby is a team game. That’s what makes it different. No player can shine without the respect of the others on the park, the support of management and the bounce of the ball – like life, when the team clicks, the magic happens. A team try is always the best.
How did you end up in the wine industry and describe your current role?
I am a winemaker. It’s the best job in the world. Everyone wants to be a winemaker. Be honest, don’t you?
What’s your top sporting memory?
Fishing a deserted river with my eldest boy and watching my youngest tackle bigger players out of their boots.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Knowing the waves and wind conditions are perfect for an early morning surf – otherwise, nothing.
Tell us about the team at your business. How many people work there?
We have four sales offices around the world – in South Africa, Hong Kong, UK and Canada – and four production partnerships around the world – South Africa, Chile, Spain and Australia. Despite our geographical reach we are a small team – 42 in total.
How do you measure success as a team?
If people are happy. We spend so much time at work – we should be happy and fulfilled. If not, move on, get another job, follow your dreams, and don’t stick around making other people miserable – that’s a crime. I used to be very impressed with intelligence and talent, now I know the only thing that counts is attitude.
What attracted you most to partnering with Sale Sharks?
The fact that the club is up north where my granny was from.
When we get back to watching games again, what will be your drink of choice?
On match day I will wake to eggs benedict and a glass of Albarino from an area in north-west Spain called Rias Baixas. For lunch I will sample a few different Chardonnays and barrel-fermented Chenin Blancs from around the world. A glass of bubbly will welcome me home from a brisk afternoon walk, before filling various hip flasks with Pinotage for the game.
And finally, you had one piece of advice for someone starting out in your sector, what would it be?
Don’t drive your forklift outside when there’s lightening about.
Visit Bruce Jack Wines website here.