BBC man joins wine trade

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Falmouth is now home to a new wine shop and bar called Kernow Wine, which opened at the beginning of December.

Former BBC journalist Derek Crookes says he initially thought about working in wine education after moving to Cornwall almost five years ago, but some work experience at BinTwo in Padstow inspired him to open his own business.

“I did two summers of work at BinTwo and it gave me the bug to do something with the hybrid model, which they do so successfully,” says Crookes.

“I picked Falmouth because it’s a hip and happening area of Cornwall. I thought it was a good place to open for year-round trade. It’s got a big boating community, a university, lots of local residents and more of a neighbourhood feel.”

After a year of looking for the perfect premises, Crookes has set up shop in a former furniture store, which has been converted to four new units. The bar area has room for 20 covers, and he has permission to have tables outside on the pavement.

Crookes (pictured above with wife Natasha) says: “I’ve got a Bermar system: it’s got sparkling and still wine preservation so I’ll do 16 wines by the glass from that and I’ll do another four on tap. I’d put more taps in if I could, but I don’t have the room.

“My motto is ‘sustainable, ethical, local’, so I’ll try to get as many products to fit those criteria as possible. I’m working with about 20 suppliers including Thorman Hunt, Alliance, ABS and Bancroft, and I’m trying to reach out a bit to some much smaller suppliers too.

“Retail-wise I’ve got room for about 300 wine lines. I wanted to have a wide range of lots of different types of wine and see if that works.

“One of my main aims is to have regular informal tastings in the shop to introduce people to the wines.”

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