Top indies extend on-trade offers

Two leading independent chains have expanded their footprints in the on-trade with new openings.

The Oxford Wine Company and Corks Out have both diversified with fresh approaches and signalled more outlets could follow.

The Oxford Wine Company will open a second café in late summer, building on the blueprint of its first on-trade outlet by offering more than 150 wines, 28 of them by the glass.

The new venue, in the Jericho area of the student town, will be run by George Sandbach, son of the Oxford Wine Company’s managing director, Ted Sandbach. He will be joined by Ronald Exenberger, a sommelier specialising in Italian wines. As well as wine, the café will offer coffee and food alongside tastings and weekly jazz concerts.

Ted Sandbach said: “The opening of a second branch of The Oxford Wine Café is a logical step following the success of the first café in Summertown. The move balances our portfolio with retail, wholesale and on-trade and there is a great deal of synergy between all three operations as well as enhancing our name and presence in the centre of Oxford.”

This week, Ruth Yates, founder of Corks Out, also cut the ribbon on a sixth store, in Knutsford.

The new outlet joins the existing branches at Stockton Heath, Chester, Timperley, Alderley Edge and Heswall.

The Knutsford store will include the latest wine tasting machines as well as offering a range of Champagnes and sparkling wines by the glass.

Yates said: “While the supermarkets are cutting their wine ranges and pushing volume deals of cheaper wines, we are encouraging responsible drinking through a drink less/buy better quality wine principle.

“Over the past five years we have extended our unique Drink In concept across all stores, which has really taken off as we not only offer a greater range of wines by the glass but a higher standard that gives true value for money.

“We have the ability to change our wine list weekly and give people the opportunity to try new things and explore a little. Working on Knutsford has really made me enthusiastic about what else we could do and I am on the lookout for new sites.”

Related articles: