From California to Caledonia

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Redwood Wines has opened in Dunkeld, the Perth & Kinross town often described as the gateway to the Highlands.

Owner Morgwn Preston-Jones, who, despite his name, hails from America’s west coast, says: “I probably have the most Welsh name I could get – especially for a boy from California.”

He and his wife Roseanna have made their home in the town and hope their new business will attract locals and tourists alike.

“We’re going to open with a fantastic offering,” says Preston-Jones. “I’ve been a chef for most of my life so I’m going to be doing whatever I can to explore the bounty of Scotland.

“Once our licensing goes through we’ll be doing small-plate foods to pair with the wines that we have. We’ll be making charcuterie from scratch and I’ll be working with all the seasonality that’s on offer.”

The couple took on the property in March but have found the licensing process a little tricky. Preston-Jones says they have inherited the alcohol licence but it only allows them to retail from a space that’s just half a metre square.

“Opening a wine shop with that little space to display is going to be a challenge from the off,” he admits.

“Eventually we hope to stock around 120 lines, but to start we are just going to be playing around with what we can do with the very limited retail space.

“I’m working with suppliers including Justerini & Brooks, Thorman Hunt, Wanderlust and The Wine Treasury.”

Preston-Jones has plenty of wine connections. His stepmother Suzanne Groth is CEO of Groth Wines in Oakville and his uncle and cousins work at Silver Oak and Twomey.

“The Wine Treasury stocks all of them and so I hope to have all three of them on and then pray that California wines will sell in Scotland,” he says.

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