The Whalley Wine Shop has been named one of the top two independent wine merchants in the country in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards, finishing runner-up in the prestigious Regional Wine Merchant of the Year category.
Tom Jones, the young owner of The Whalley Wine Shop, travelled to the ceremony at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London to collect his award.
The judges said that: “Jones has made The Whalley Wine Shop a success, constantly improving the 1,000-bottle range and employing an engaging and friendly staff who aren’t too posh to sell sweets and cigarettes... but with a by-the-glass sampling machine, a wine bar area and imaginative tasting events such as the ‘Night of 100 Wines’, The Whalley Wine Shop is every bit as slick as the most upscale urban merchant... it’s a perfect place for customers to learn about wine.”
The Decanter award is the fifth major award the shop has been shortlisted for in 2013. The shop has also been featured in The Guardian where wine critic Fiona Beckett called it “a gem” and praised the shop’s “lively and enthusiastic staff”, calling the Ribble Valley “a wine tourists dream”.
Tom commented: “It’s great to be recognised by our peers for all the hard work and effort that the staff have put in to make the shop a success. The fact that the top people in our industry think The Whalley Wine Shop is a perfect place to come and discover and enjoy wine, gives us a real buzz.
“We have a great team here, Dan, Matt and Jen are all passionate about wine, and are keen to learn more.
“They have all just completed their Advanced Wine exams and Matt is currently in France working on the wine harvest to get a real ‘hands on’ feel of what the wine industry is all about.”
Tom (28), who hails from Ribchester and is an ex-Clitheroe Grammar student has just completed his third year in business at The Whalley Wine Shop having been made redundant by Threshers and then buying out and converting the shop on King Street, Whalley in 2010.
“Whalley is a special village and our customers have been magnificent from day one,” he said. “The business has grown every year and our continued success is totally down to their support, we can’t thank them enough.”