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Think Indie: Vagabond Wines takes top Independent Merchant for UK's 50 Best Indies Award

Published:  13 July, 2016

At yesterday's Think Indie Drink Indie event hosted in London Vagabond Wines took the top top spot in the UK's 50 Best Indies Award list.

The list was set up to to celebrate the achievements of the hardworking retailers that give the drinks trade such a good name across the UK.

The 50 Best Indies list was generated by dividing the country into 10 zones, including splitting London up, and five experts were selected from each region. Each expert was asked to nominate three retailers from their region, plus two from outside the region, and rank them from one to five, with a weighting attached to each vote. It was then a case of using a mathematical formula to create the final list.

Vagabond Wines was first set up by Stephen Finch in west London as a retail store and wine bar where customers could sample 100 different wines. He now has three stores, with plans to open three more, start an urban winery and create a microbrewery. The company has displayed tremendous ambition and has established itself as the best independent wine merchant in the UK.

"Being part of the list makes me realise I want to jump in the car and do a road trip visiting all the other indies on the list.  I think we are all doing really innovative things and am so honoured to be awarded this recognition," said Finch.

The other top five merchants included , Hedonism Wines at number five, South Down Cellars at number four, Cambridge Wine Merchants at number three and The Sampler at number two.

The full list of winners is below.

Congratulations to all those who have been recognised as a 50 Best Indies!

  1. Vagabond Wines, London
  2. The Sampler, London
  3. Cambridge Wine Merchants, Cambridge
  4. South Downs Cellars, Sussex
  5. Hedonism Wines, London
  6. Hennings Wine Merchants, Sussex
  7. Noel Young Wines, Cambridge
  8. The Oxford Wine Company, Oxford
  9. Tanners, Shropshire
  10. Bottle Apostle, London
  11. Corks Out, Cheshire
  12. Harper Wells, Norwich
  13. Woodwinters, Scotland
  14. Hanging Ditch, Manchester
  15. Le Vignoble, Plymouth
  16. The Leamington Wine Company, Leamington Spa
  17. Red Squirrel, Hertfordshire
  18. Borough Wines, London
  19. We Brought Beer, London
  20. Amps Fine Wines, Peterborough
  21. Lea & Sandeman, London
  22. D Byrne & Co, Lancashire
  23. Ten Green Bottles, Brighton
  24. The Bottle Shop, Cardiff
  25. Handford Fine Wines, London
  26. Cheers Wine Merchants, Swansea
  27. Corks of Cotham, Bristol
  28. The Old Bridge Wine Shop, Huntingdon
  29. Duncan Murray Wines, Harborough
  30. Favourite Beers, Cheltenham
  31. Connolly's Wine Merchants, Solihull
  32. Loki Wines, Birmingham
  33. Talking Wines, Cirencester
  34. Grape & Grind, Bristol
  35. Yapp Brothers Wine Merchants, Wiltshire
  36. Christopher Piper Wine, Devon
  37. Luvians, Fife
  38. Bin 21, Morpeth
  39. Ellis Warton Wines, Par
  40. The Solent Cellar, Lymington
  41. The Secret Cellar, Kent
  42. Tasting Room, Bath
  43. The Vineyards, Belfast
  44. The Fine Wine Company, Musselburgh
  45. James Nicholson, Crossgar, Northern Ireland
  46. The Wine Centre, Great Horkesley
  47. The Wine Chambers, Tynemouth
  48. Old Chapel Cellars, Cornwall
  49. Bon Coeur Fine Wines, Melsonby, Yorkshire
  50. Define Food & Wine, Cheshire