Moretonhampstead in Devon is home to a new hybrid indie. The Bottle Shop was opened in July by Anne Cleminson and Simon Johnson, who were previously owners of The Hourglass pub in Exeter.
“We’re sourcing wine from around the world, mostly Europe,” Cleminson says, “and we’re focusing on winemakers who are working sustainably. That’s very important to us. We have lots of organic and natural wines and lots of traditional wines from small winemakers.”
Conscious of its own eco-credentials, the business is working with many local producers including Papillon Dartmoor Distillery (“they are literally 100 steps from our door”), Dalwood Vineyard and breweries Utopian and Powderkeg. The deli is stocked with local goodies from Deli Farm, The Dartmoor Cure and cheese from Fat Mouse.
“We’re working with Sustainable Wine Solutions and we have three on tap, a white a rosé and a red,” says Cleminson. “We have bottles we loan out but people can bring any bottle they want – I’ve even filled up a litre bike flask for someone before.
“The calculation is that one glass of wine off the tap has 96% less carbon footprint than one from a traditional bottle, so I’m really trying to encourage it.
“We’re thrilled about how it’s going so far. We’ve only been open a couple of months so we’re still getting the word out, but we live in such a great area where people really do care about the environment. We’ve got a zero-waste shop in town, so people go and get a refill of olive oil from them and a bottle of wine from us.”
Cleminson is sourcing wines from suppliers including ABS, which has already been providing support with winemaker visits. There’s more activity on the horizon, with plans for a series of tastings and a number of workshops including darning, wreath-making and book-binding.