Blackmore Vale News

Sherborne Indie Wine Merchant Scoops Top Harper’s Award

Local Indie wine merchant Vineyards of Sherborne are celebrating this week – with just cause. The all-female team have not only been ranked in Harper’s Top 50 Indie Wine Merchants, but they’re also, in true Top of the Pops style, Highest New Entry at No.19! 

Hannah Wilkins

Wine Merchant Sadie Wilkins explained ‘the indie Harper’s list is a huge deal – it’s an annual award where you are nominated by peers within the wine trade only. You cannot apply to be part of the nominations or pay a fee. 

Which means that those ‘in the know’ have seen something in us that they feel we are doing right; it’s truly a confidence booster.

Hannah opened Vineyards of Sherborne in 2005 and now stocks over 1000 wines, including weird and wonderful grapes and rare, fine wines. You may also have heard of G (their own gin) dubbed ‘Sherborne Gin’ by locals

In usual non-Covid times, the vibrant ‘hybrid shop’ offers an extensive drink-in menu and themed pop-up foodie nights too.

To be recognised by Harper’s this year, during a pandemic, was “…quite frankly mind-blowing”  Sadie exclaims. “the charm of a great indie wine merchant is the personal service and second-to-none knowledge of wine. As cheesy as it sounds, we see ourselves as ‘storytellers of wine’. We obsessively source every product we stock ourselves, and do so in a ‘blind tasting’ fashion in order to remove pre-conceived ideas. The difference between shopping with us and a large supermarket is the dialogue about the bottle and the interesting range that we have on our shelves. That’s what was rather terrifying about heading into lockdown as a business owner. How do we still ‘reach out’ and tell the story behind each bottle… Being an indie allowed us flexibility; we changed our business model to adapt.” 

Harper’s were impressed with their ‘fierce social media campaigns’ and the live virtual tastings on Instagram. 

Sadie explains “The live tastings took on a life of their own! We hosted winemakers from across the world (something that we wouldn’t be able to do in usual times so frequently) and we even made it into national newspapers. Our tastings reached up to 900 viewers.

“We also ran themed wine cases, & mystery selections to our newsletter subscribers, continuing to tell the stories from our shelves. This, combined with a new collection and nationwide delivery service meant that we could still be there for those who needed. 

Harper’s said Vineyards of Sherborne are a ‘small business where you get a lot of bang for your buck.’ 

“We are absolutely delighted. And yes; before you ask, lots of fizz was consumed to celebrate!”

You can order by email 

shop@vineyardsofsherborne.co.uk

Or call (Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat ) 01935 815544

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