Business

Award-winning wine merchant pours £300,000 into JN

James Nicholson, who founded JN Wines 40 years ago

AWARD-winning Crossgar wine merchant JN Wine is celebrating 40 years in business supplying selected wines to the north's best restaurants by investing £300,000 into the company.

Widely recognised as one of the most experienced wine merchants on the island of Ireland, it has developed and implemented a bespoke online ordering and delivery service, enabling the 30-strong team of highly trained staff to service wine connoisseurs and hospitality clients across the UK and Ireland.

Established in 1977, James Nicholson started business delivering wines to restaurants in his Ford Cortina. In the days before a wine drinking culture had been fully embraced, he was selling bottles from personally selected vineyards, making recommendations on wine purchases and sourcing new suppliers.

Identifying a gap in the market from the outset, James focussed his attention on the wholesale side of the business, and his unique approach to the business in personally visiting vineyards across the world and carefully selecting wines, has been replicated over the years.

Forty years on, the company is widely acknowledged as a market leader in the wine industry, scooping the prestigious International Wine Challenge ‘Regional Merchant of the Year' award for Northern Ireland a record 24 times.

Now based in a state-of-the-art headquarters, JN Wines (www.jnwine.com) employs 30 staff, including Jane Boyce, the only Master of Wine working in Northern Ireland and the first female Master of Wine in Ireland.

The company supplies selected wine to hundreds of restaurants, bars and hotels across Ireland and offers wine tasting events, wine courses, a wine club and a range of Fine Wine services individually tailored for private clients.

“It's hard to imagine that it's been 40 years since the business was established, and the industry has transformed in that time,” says Jim.

“Wine drinking habits have evolved, and we've watched the business progress, as the appreciation for the products we supply has also grown.

“Each member of our team is professionally trained and passionate about wine, and that expert knowledge underpins the continued success of everything we do.”

James still spends a significant time visiting vineyards and maintaining relationships with his longest standing suppliers, whilst also seeking out new wines and discovering little known producers.

“Our clients know that we are dedicated to providing the best possible products, and we look forward to continuing to discover exciting new wines and forging new relationships with producers across the world.”

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