Beth Liston, the winemaker behind Dark Horse wine, boldly believes that anyone can have a great label, but it’s what’s inside that counts. She believes that with the right technique, a reasonably priced wine can be ridiculously good and defy all expectation. To celebrate the unstoppable spirit of Dark Horse, they went looking for the next generation of visionaries defying expectation, who presume nothing, yet excel in their chosen craft.
The Dark Horse Champions campaign saw a panel of five inspirational, influential and pioneering craftsmen select three Dark Horse Champions who, like themselves, have taken a risk on the unexpected to defy expectation in their field.
Judges included Dark Horse winemaker Beth Liston, whose bold wines are meticulously crafted using premium winemaking techniques; Janan Leo, founder of Cocorose London, who launched an innovative and wildly successful foldable shoe; Mark Gevaux, aka “The Rib Man”, whose street food and exceptional barbecue ribs have made him a Twitter sensation; Jen Rubio, co-founder of Away Travel, whose company produces sleek and affordable carry-on bags; and the award-winning artist Tom Hunter.
Composer Johannes Brahms once said that “without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind,” and the three adventurous Dark Horse Champions chosen by the judging panel have managed to blend inspiration with adroit craftsmanship.
Harriet Sanders, founder of Harriet Sanders Accessories
Harriet, a graduate from the London College of Fashion, started her handmade leather handbag business in her garden shed before selling her iconic bags- made from ethically sourced Italian leathers - at Old Spitalfields Market. Last year she won The Young Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Women of the Year awards.
Jez Felwick, founder of The Bowler
One of the first street food trucks in the UK and now a firm favourite, Jez ran his own talent management company before boldly turning his back on corporate life and setting up The Bowler after falling in love with the American street food scene on his travels. The van is now a regular feature at festivals, events and Kerb London.
Rosaline Shahnavaz, award-winning photographer
At the age of 25, Rosaline’s work has been exhibited extensively around the UK, including Tate London, as well as globally in LA, New York, Tokyo and beyond. Refusing to accept that she couldn’t achieve her dream job without family connections to guide her path, Rosaline pursued her dream to capture the real, unexpected moments of life.
Each of the champions has been rewarded with a bursary to further build their craft, through which they will represent the key Dark Horse values of Bold, for risking everything; Innovation, for pushing boundaries to develop something new; and Quality, for delivering an exceptional service against price.
Dark Horse winemaker Beth Liston says: “Our champions have achieved something extraordinary and will go on to inspire the dark horse in all of us.”
Dark Horse wine is available in UK stores nationally in four varietals; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. To discover more about Dark Horse wine and Beth Liston, visit darkhorsewine.co.uk