Halo Wines

New wine importers Halo Wines are already enjoying a strong position in the market, harnessing the power of industry-specialised software and leveraging years of industry experience from co-founders Violaine Manac’h and Tim French.

Start up Halo Wines was launched in 2023 and is already experiencing great results, having come to the market with a well researched business plan, devised by accomplished wine importers Violaine Manac’h and Tim French. The ambitious duo know the market well and carefully selected reliable partners in shipping, warehousing and technology to launch their business. Representing wines the likes of Dirk Niepoort, Halo Wines are enjoying immediate success and the Wine Hub has been an integral part of their story so far. 


With many years of experience working for renowned importer Thorman Hunt, Violaine is well versed in the logistical challenges that come with buying, transporting, storing and selling wine. Having a system that could manage and ease these daily processes was a main consideration for Halo Wines, alongside pricing and margin control.  

The other main criteria was to not have a server-based system. As a small start up, without offices, enabled home working and access to the system when travelling were non-negotiable.

Platform Selection

Having a passion for technology and understanding the difference it can make for a business, Violaine was keen to research and source the right software to manage their business. They were seeking a partner embedded in the wine industry who were innovating alongside the industry and who were listening to its users.

Violaine had previously worked with wine software and recognised the importance of having a system able to handle the many complexities of importing wine, including pricing, margins and stock control. The Hub was selected as a wine industry-dedicated software that truly understood these challenges and could manage their importing business, all from one place, and that could be accessed anywhere.

Violaine Manac'h | Wine Hub | Wine business management software

When I researched, I really wanted a system that was great at the moment, but had the possibility of evolving as well – a business that was listening to the customers and reacting to our demands and the Wine Hub seems to be doing that just perfectly.

Halo Wines, Violaine Manac’h


The Wine Hub provides Halo Wines with visibility every step of the way throughout their operations, enabling granular control over their business. Highlights include:

Stock Management

Being able to reconcile stock easily from the Hub system against physical stock in London City Bond, knowing exactly where stock is and what can be allocated using rotation numbers, is exactly the type of complexity simplified by the Wine Hub to ensure peace of mind for the team and smooth, flawless service for customers.


Pricing and Margin Control

A bespoke pricing structure was set up in the Hub which gives an immediate, clear understanding as to values, informing negotiations and discounts and enabling superior margin control. When on the spot with new customers this kind of visibility has been such a useful tool for the team to stay exactly on track.


Violaine Manac'h | Wine Hub | Wine business management software

The main plus of the system is the pricing structure. We have a very specific pricing structure set up on the Hub, so I don’t need to worry, I just key in the sales order and it’s done. Then if I want to change the sales order because we have say a special deal, then the system is flexible enough to just update it and change the discount. 

Halo Wines, Violaine Manac’h

Accounting and Finance

The Hub integration with Xero automates workflows and has ensured people are paying on time, without requiring manpower from the two person team, who can instead focus on relationships with producers, customers etc. Having reporting, with an easily accessible dashboard supports easier cash flow management and informed decision making.


Traceability and Documentation

A necessity for any wine importer is traceability, with this being of particular importance for Halo Wines who specialise in organic certified product. The Hub supports this perfectly with the ability to attach files and documentation throughout the stages of the supply chain and which are easily accessible ongoing.


Operations and Logistics

Violaine mentions that many people would think Halo Wines is actually bigger than they are because of the service they are able to provide. Having wine industry-specific software has made all the difference in speeding up workflows, simplifying logistics and creating time-saving automations.

Words on starting up

After years of working for other people in an industry you love, it can be tempting to launch your own wine business and for Violaine and Tim, it was something they were very keen to do. Post Covid, amid challenges such as Brexit, they saw that with the right research, tools and mindset they could enter the market and thrive. 

Violaine Manac'h | Wine Hub | Wine business management software

We needed a clear vision of where we were going, what we wanted to provide and also the difference that we could make in the market – you know some people were saying, do you need another importer and I think we do. I think there is enough space for everyone at the moment, because the demand is growing for good quality wine.

Halo Wines, Violaine Manac’h

To those out there thinking about starting their own wine business, what advice would Violaine give?

“The product is a bit more complex than other products. There are lots of rules around trading with alcohol, so you need to be aware of that. Make sure you do your research. Get the right contacts – speak to the right people, so trade bodies are great to get some advice from.

I don’t think you can do everything. You might be experts in wine, but maybe you’re not expert in shipping the wine, in logistics, in customs clearance or warehousing, so surround yourself with the right third party providers.”

Full Interview

Watch Violaine’s full interview here for a full understanding of what it takes to launch a wine importer business and how the Wine Hub has supported their success.

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