Vino Vero’s co-owners, Sam and Charlie Brown, have announced they have sold the business with plans to explore a “nomadic life” overseas.

The duo set up Vino Vero in 2013 in Leigh-on-Sea, with the aim of focusing on wines made as simply as possible. The store, which won the Independent Wine Retailer of the Year Award at DRN’s 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards, houses an impressive array of organic and biodynamic variants, created without synthetic chemicals or additions and minimal intervention in the cellar.

In a statement on Instagram Charlie Brown said: “Today we say goodbye to ownership of Vino Vero. A nomadic life calls. Writing. Making wine. Living wherever coronavirus restrictions and Brexit will let us. And any other venture we want to turn our hand to.”

Speaking to DRN, she said: “We always had a nomadic life in the past and this is something we had been thinking about for a while. We thought in the current climate that it would be hard to sell the business but in fact it was the opposite and I think it put us in a stronger position than before. Like many off-trade and local retailers, sales have been really good since March.

“When Covid-19 started it forced a few people to rethink their lives and we had a few people come back to us and ask about whether we were still thinking of selling the business.

“We are quite fortunate with the location because about 40% of residents used to commute to London for work, but since March people have been working from home and so we have got to know new people and the store has attracted new customers.”

She explained that the idea to sell is really just because of the pair’s desire to explore other things, although they “100% intend to stay within the wine sector” and they plan to start with a stint in Spain’s Rioja region.

“We have wanted to move to Europe for some time, and we hope to explore wineries and learn about producers. We will work harvest and get some more experience so we can make our own wines.”

The new owners are Jaime Fernandez and Holly Tilbury Fernandez, a couple that were well known to the business.

Brown said: “They share the same ethos and they don’t plan to make any radical changes to the business. They will continue to focus on small independent producers while also bringing their own touch to the business. It’s a good fit with what we wanted the business to be.”