Grape expectations as JN Wine nets a record 23rd award
From selling bottles from the car boot to becoming an award-winning retailer, Co Down business JN Wine has been named the IWC Regional Wine Merchant of the Year for a record 23rd time.
The Crossgar company, headed up by founder James Nicholson, has been supplying wine to trade and retail customers across Ireland for nearly 40 years.
The award was presented to JN Wine's Kristin Collins by host and master of wine Sam Harrop after winning praise at the London ceremony. Judges said: "JN Wine acts as a distributor for an admirable selection of good producers, and this coupled with the extensive charity work undertaken by the team makes them worthy winners."
Speaking after the win, Mr Nicholson said: "We are delighted to be celebrating once again with the incredible accolade, which is a massive endorsement of all the work undertaken by the team here.
"To retain the title showcases our passion for the wine we supply, with each member of our team professionally trained, educated and eager to share that knowledge with our many customers."
The win shows how far Mr Nicholson has come from his early days selling wine from his Ford Cortina. JN Wine employs 30 people, and has sold in Ireland, the UK and overseas, including selling crates of £14,000 Chateau Lafite to China.
Alongside showing the way with its impressive stock, JN Wine became a leader on the technology front when it became the first wine company in Ireland to have a website.