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Embracing change in Rioja

Published:  20 December, 2023

Setting out to discover the renewed dynamism and diversity in Spain’s flagship DO, Harpers teamed up with Wines of Rioja to host an indie merchant buying trip to the region. Andrew Catchpole reports.


Independents: Paying the duty bill

Published:  15 September, 2023

Jo Gilbert reports on the results of Harpers’ latest survey, where we asked independent retailers to let us know which cost pressures are affecting them most – with inflation and duty unsurprisingly leading the charge.


Indies short-changed in government duty consultation

Published:  14 August, 2023

Independent merchants, long considered the backbone of the quality drinks trade in the UK, were woefully underrepresented among those consulted by government over the duty changes now hitting businesses.


Stamp scheme generates £32k for Cardiff indies

Published:  09 August, 2023

Since its launch just over a year ago, the Cardiff Wine Passport has generated more than £32,000 in revenue for independent restaurants and bars in Cardiff.


The Drop: Bringing it home

Published:  20 June, 2023

Bottle shop, wine bar or app? The Drop’s marketing director Helen Fletcher explains to Andrew Catchpole how it is all three and how this popular hybrid is set to grow.


Indies focus: Manchester's bright northern lights

Published:  12 April, 2023

Jo Gilbert struck out for Manchester to discover what makes the city tick post-Covid.

Leave it to Marc Hough, owner of Manchester hybrid Cork of the North, to give a comprehensive summary of the city in which he lives and works in the space of 30 seconds.


Cambridge gears up for 30th anniversary celebrations

Published:  13 March, 2023

Cambridge Wine Merchants is celebrating reaching three decades in the trade in 2023, with a roster of events lined up to mark the major milestone.


50 Best Indies 2023: The full rundown

Published:  13 January, 2023

Having moved on from the pandemic but now with economic upheaval to contend with, the UK’s independent merchant sector is nonetheless in vibrant health, if this year’s crop of worthy winners are anything to go by. Innovation, backed by enthusiasm, knowledge and great communication, with ever greater emphasis on sustainability, were much in evidence across the readership-nominated long list this year.


50 Best Indies 2023 ranking: 20-12 revealed

Published:  09 January, 2023

This week marks the launch of our 50 Best Indies 2023, where we are celebrating the best businesses working in the UK’s thriving drinks merchant scene.


DO Rueda inviting UK trade to join #TasteRueda campaign

Published:  07 November, 2022

Aimed at indies and restaurants, DO Rueda’s new marketing campaign is inviting sign-ups to join in the promotion of Rueda wines across the UK.


Taking stock

Published:  28 September, 2022

With the cost of living crisis set to get worse, how can indies best protect their businesses? Andrew Catchpole listens to some differing views.


The Wine Yard, Surrey’s newest drink-in/take-home bolthole

Published:  30 August, 2022

Just over 40 miles from London, Farnham’s new watering hole, The Wine Yard, has become part of the regeneration that is taking place in the UK’s satellite towns. During Covid, many places felt the wrath of the virus and its various mitigation measures, with lockdowns leaving shop and restaurant fronts empty along what were once the more bustling parts of the nation’s high streets. 


Indies: Fighting back against the obstacles to trade

Published:  05 May, 2022

Jason Millar looks at how the long tail of Brexit and Covid have impacted merchants looking to buy direct.


The indies on a net-zero mission

Published:  04 May, 2022

Sonya Hook catches up with two indie wine merchants committed to doing greener business that have reinforced their ethical stance by signing up to Harpers’ Sustainability Charter.


Harnessing Pays d’Oc IGP

Published:  22 March, 2022

Inviting a panel to taste and talk, Andrew Catchpole prompted a far-reaching exploration of the potential for southern France’s most versatile designation, in partnership with Pays d’Oc IGP.


Indies: Fighting fit?

Published:  17 January, 2022

Adaptability has been key for indies that have sought not just to survive, but to thrive, as Angela Mount reports.


UK’s 50 Best Indies 2021: 11-20

Published:  09 September, 2021

Welcome to the release of our fourth tranche of our 50 Best Indies list, from 11-20, also featuring all of those that have made it into the ranking from 21-50.


UK’s 50 Best Indies 2021: 21-30

Published:  08 September, 2021

Welcome to the release of our third tranche of our 50 Best Indies list, from 21-30, also featuring all of those that have made it into the ranking from 31-50.


UK’s 50 Best Indies 2021: 31-50

Published:  07 September, 2021

Welcome to the release of our second tranche of our 50 Best Indies list, from 31-40, also featuring all of those that have made it into the 31-50 ranking so far.


Selling independence

Published:  02 August, 2021

With on-trade reopening still disrupted, Andrew Catchpole assesses the impact and opportunities for indies’ wholesale operations.