Vineyards has moved to a much larger premises just a short walk away from the original shop in Sherborne, Dorset.
Owners Hannah and Sadie Wilkins are thrilled that they will be able to have a dedicated tasting room, extra storage space and an extended wine range.
“It’s a great time to be moving into a shiny new space,” says Sadie. “We will be introducing at least 250 more wines on the shelves so the portfolio is increasing.
“We are really proud to say that quite a few of the local restaurants, pubs and hotels have our wines so we are building up our wholesale again and we’ve recently taken on some lovely accounts including Mat Follas, a MasterChef winner who has opened a restaurant in Sherborne.”
The pair have taken on a large commercial unit in Old Yarn Mills and they had a lot to do before opening the first weekend of October. Previously an auto shop, it was a no-frills space. “We’re embracing the industrial feel of it, otherwise we’d be totally overwhelmed by the space,” explains Sadie.
“We’re having a steel mezzanine being made to our spec, and that will be the wine lounge upstairs. It means we can do in-house tastings really comfortably in a dedicated space away from the shop floor.
“We all know that people are more adventurous by the glass than by the bottle and we had a taste of how nice it was having a drink in menu prior to Covid. Now we are opening in a better space for that.”
To show customers just how easy they will be to find, Sadie posted a social media video of herself walking their dog Hugo from their old shop to the new location.
“Even though it’s not on the high street,” she says of the new shop, “this little area is a destination, a nice little buzzy quarter of town and our neighbours have really paved the way. There’s an eclectic mix of businesses here. There’s a vintage furniture and antiques place, a micro-brewery and a Gamespod. It used to be more of an industrial estate but now it’s somewhere that people come to socialise.”
Vineyards is long established in Sherborne and well known for being cheerleaders of not just the community but its fellow independent traders. Hannah and Sadie have treated the relocation as an extension of that.
“In a town of this size you get that sublime window into how good community can be,” says Sadie. “We’ve just had to have some emergency tradespeople who we just happen to count as friends of ours. In Sherborne you’re a stone’s throw away from a talented friend and even the love that’s going into building this new place is a community project.”