Vinotopia has unveiled plans for a wine barn in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, which is set to open in September.
The new operation is a partnership with food retailer Brown & Green, featuring a wine shop on one side and a farm shop on the other.
Vinotopia’s Andy Cole says: “We want to enhance our current offering and make the wine barn a destination for both our local and regional customers and make it a welcoming place for all our wine club members.
“We have over 500 lines at the moment and we’re not looking to massively increase that, but we will make the layout more user-friendly.
“Customers will be able to come in and flop on the sofa, get a glass of wine, read the papers and watch the world go by.”
The brand new build is bursting with eco credentials. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s as green as possible,” explains Cole. “There will be a ground source heat pump, solar panels and rainwater harvesting.”
While the planners and builders continue to do their thing, Vinotopia has moved from its shop in Tetbury and set up a new operational hub from the warehouse, which is based on the same estate as the new build.
“Once the project is complete the wine barn will be our retail focus, and the warehouse will continue to cover the wholesale side, the big corporate orders and the events side of the business,” Cole says.
Vinotopia’s wine club, which currently has around 500 members, gives subscribers the opportunity to buy wine at a better price than any of its trade accounts, as well as access to tastings.
“We hold two big tastings a year – a spring and a winter one – and then we also do another three wine club exclusives,” says Cole. “They are generally limited-availability wines and small parcels – the fun stuff, really.”
As well as direct importing about 40% of its wines, the business works with UK suppliers including Liberty, Alliance and Condor and stocks a range of English wines from Gusbourne, Greyfriars, Nyetimber and Stopham.