The shop is now well into its second decade and into the 3rd year under the current ownership.
It was originally known as “Shaftesbury Fine Wines” to differentiate itself from Eldrige Pope’s off licence which was at the top of the hill. It changed hands in June 2009. Dropping the word “fine” was a difficult decision but a necessary one to make the environment less intimidating and more inviting. The quality and range has not decreased: you can still find 1er Cru Burgundy, fine Claret and vintage Port.
The aim of the shop is to offer an alternative to the tide of mass-produced wine and to champion individual producers making wine with a passion.
In addition to the stocked range, different, weird and wonderful spirits can also be ordered. For example, if you want a 40% spirit of wild rose hips (Eglantine) it can generally be here in a couple of days.
If a date is important, Armagnac is available to order from 1988 (around £45) back to 1888 (around £1850 a bottle)
David Perry: a brief biography:
David moved to Salisbury when he was about 8 years old and was later a border at the old Shaftesbury Grammar School back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. After a 4 year degree in Metallurgy and the prospect of a career in a Midlands iron foundry he took a job instead in a small independent wine shop in Rutland where his interest in wine began and where he gained a distinction in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust higher certificate. He moved to Peter Dominic (when they were still wine merchants) and then to the revolutionary wine megastore “Drinksmart” where he completed the two-year WSET diploma course. His career moved to buying wine for the Co op and then into marketing. David took a year out to do an MBA (which he gained with a distinction again– the smarty pants!) before joining Greenall’s off licence division just before the management buy-out and the formation of Parisa Group. He managed the marketing of their 600 shops for a few years before establishing business consultants Thornton Perry Associates, where he first registered the Campaign for Real Wine Ltd. This was all very well but was moving too far away from his two great passions; Wine and Dorset. In late 2008, when the younger of his daughters turned 18 and went off to university, he packed his bags, moved back south, bought the wine shop in Shaftesbury and is now happily back where he started in the wine trade 30 years ago.
During his career, David has had the opportunity to taste (and drink) thousands of different wines. On one occasion, as a judge in the International Wine Challenge, he tasted 125 in one session!
You may also meet David’s daughter and co-director Alice in the shop.
Alice is the company’s beer expert, although being David’s daughter she has, of course, been exposed to real wine from an early age. She has a particular interest in environmentally conscious production and the ethical issues of winemaking.
Having spent three years at the University of Birmingham, Alice graduated in 2008 with a first-class degree in philosophy and a comprehensive knowledge of the city’s real ale pubs. Realizing career academia wasn’t as much fun as it seemed, she made the wise decision to move down to sunny South Wiltshire. Alice also works with Keystone Brewery, encouraging the area’s pubs and shops to ‘go local’ with sustainably made, award-winning beers.