Co Down wine merchant collects award for 25th time
Northern Ireland wine merchants JN Wine have won a top industry award as it marks four decades in business.
JN Wine, which is owned by James Nicholson, was named regional merchant of the year at the International Wine Challenge Awards. The Crossgar company has now won the award 25 times. Mr Nicholson said: "Our aim is to provide an unrivalled service to our customer across the UK and Ireland, with excellence as standard.
"To bring this award back to the team in Crossgar is an endorsement of our continued commitment to our clients. Since I started the company four decades ago, innovation has been key in meeting the requirements of our growing customer base."
"The business has come a long way from delivering wine from my Ford Cortina to restaurants in Northern Ireland's fledgling hospitality sector, to now servicing customers across the UK and Ireland with a fleet of vans.
"We're absolutely delighted that our passion for the wine industry continues to be recognised at an international level."
Mr Nicholson said he had planned a series of events to mark his 40th anniversary, including an event at restaurant Deanes at Queen's.
Its owner, chef Michael Deane, is celebrating 20 years in business.
Mr Nicholson started out selling wine from his car after borrowing £12,000 from Ulster Bank. He souped-up the big green Cortina, adding springs so that the boot could carry 60 units of wine.
He later opened the company's flagship premises in Crossgar. The company has also invested £300,000 in a new online ordering and delivery service. The Company is also well-known as a long-term sponsor of the Champion Chase at Down Royal.