Amanda Thomson is the CEO and Founder of B Corp Certified Thomson & Scott, maker of Noughty Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Chardonnay - the first top quality alcohol-free, organic, vegan, halal, low sugar sparkling.
What brought you to non-alcoholic drinking?
I was inspired to create Noughty Alcohol-Free Wine due to my love of Champagne but recognition that whichever way I cut it, alcohol wasn’t good for us! I set out to see if I could make something equally delicious along the same lines as Champagne but without too much sugar, without chemicals and importantly without any alcohol - zero in the case of our sparkling Brut and Rosé.
Tell us a little bit about how you created Noughty and how you source your ingredients.
It took time. A long time. And vast amounts of obsessive research and tastings - most of which were pretty depressing early days. We were the first real brand on the global map to premiumize the category. I trained in wine in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu and taste is everything for me. Our organic grapes for our sparkling Brut and Chardonnay are sun-ripened in Southern Spain.
What's your current go-to non-alcoholic drink?
My recent favorite is the Polka Dot at Limewood Hotel in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK which has a lovely freshness, an incredible color and a sharp kick which I love. It's made with Noughty Brut, Acorn Dry aperitif, fresh raspberries, elderflower and lime juice.
What's on the horizon for Noughty in 2022?
A portfolio of quality still dealcoholized wines - Noughty Rouge, Noughty Blanc and Noughty Rosé. The red launches first anytime now and I cannot wait. Luckily a lot of our fans around the world feel the same way.
How do you feel being a woman influences your approach to your business?
Sadly, it’s still a point of difference at the higher levels - something that needs to change. The wine business at management level is still very male dominated with a few notable exception. Yes, it means you get remembered more easily but it’s not the landscape we need big picture when it comes to innovation.
I’m not sure how relevant my gender is/isn’t to my approach - I have always worked in male dominated industries - I was a broadcaster in Newsrooms prior - but there’s no question that diversity adds to the bottom line in business as well as to the output. I was saddened that a recent poll found 81% of 11-18 year olds cannot name a single female entrepreneur which is something that needs changing fast.
Who is another woman in the non-alcoholic space you admire and why?
Julia Bainbridge is a rock star. Writer of "Good Drinks”, Julia has long championed quality Alcohol-Free in the US and is now making waves globally too.