Merchant wins corking award
A WINE merchant in Saffron Walden has beaten off strong competition to win a prestigious award at a ceremony held in London, last Tuesday. Joseph Barnes Wines, based on Market Row, Saffron Walden, won the category for Best Independent Specialist Wine Merc
A WINE merchant in Saffron Walden has beaten off strong competition to win a prestigious award at a ceremony held in London, last Tuesday.
Joseph Barnes Wines, based on Market Row, Saffron Walden, won the category for Best Independent Specialist Wine Merchant of 2007, and was praised by the judges for its exceptional level of product knowledge and service.
The result was announced at the annual Decanter World Wine Awards Dinner held at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Charles Hardcastle and his wife Christine, who run the business, were presented with their prize by the renowned wine writer, Stephen Spurrier.
Mr Hardcastle said: "We are extremely proud and very pleased to win this award. We were up against stiff competition and there were some big wine merchants in the category."
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Mr Hardcastle has been in the wine business for more than 15 years, but only set up Joseph Barnes Wines in August 2005.
"We have only just celebrated our second birthday so it makes this achievement all the more special," he said.
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The Decanter World Wine Awards are one of the
worlds most influential and respected competitions.
Mr Hardcastle hopes that it will give them a greater opportunity to expand their business and bring some very interesting, unusual and less well-known wines to the attention of the public.
"We go to small estates in France ourselves and source all the wine personally. We have been able to build up a good relationship with many vineyards and we can offer some really good wines at fantastic value for money.
"Many of the wines we sell are exclusive to us."
The judges were particularly impressed with the company's success in building a thriving business in the face of strong competition from local supermarkets and high street off-licence chains. Decanter Magazine described Joseph Barnes as "a model that others should follow."
Charles and Christine Hardcastle named their business after Charles' grandfather, who died 20 years ago.