Adnams has been crowned East of England Stand Out Wine Retailer and claimed a top 20 spot in Harpers Wine and Spirit Magazine’s annual review of independent wine merchants.

Harpers recently announced its Top 50 Indies for 2024 and we’re thrilled to see our team’s rankings climb to 15th place in this year’s chart. We have made the Top 50 in previous years, but this is our highest position yet, which is great news for the team and comes with the bonus of making them the highest-placed stores in the east.

Lydia Harrowven, Head of Wine for Adnams, is over the moon: “We are thrilled to receive this recognition from Harpers. We are incredibly passionate about wine and the service we provide, and we are continually striving to make sustainable choices for the range and our customers. We are excited for the future and the development of wine within Adnams.”

The wine team’s focus is on quality, ethically sourced, sustainable, unique and interesting producers with stories to tell through their wines. We care about what’s in the bottle and our wines take our customers on a journey from grape to glass. Our stores give us the opportunity to personally share those stories and they are also a fantastic place for customers to discover and explore our beers and spirits too.

Our competitive and exclusive trade wine list ensures we stay relevant in the on-trade as well, and the breadth of our range means we have been able to support our trade customers through the current economic demands on the hospitality industry. As well as delivering to retail and web customers locally, our store teams also handle Adnams’ smaller trade customers directly from each store, adding to the community feel of our business. 

Adnams was founded in 1872, and two years later, we branched out into wine. We have therefore been an indie wine merchant for 150 years. We opened our first wine and kitchenware store in Southwold in 1987, in the old brewery bottling store and the company’s expansion across East Anglia began with the opening of The Grapevine in Norwich in 1989. We now have 13 stores across the east.

We have a long history as a wine merchant, but we continue to evolve. We have been increasing and diversifying our range, finding new ways to excite and delight our customers. Each of our stores offers a unique experience; with curated ranges in each store – meaning there is also independence within our collection of stores! Our ever-evolving range truly offers something for everyone.

Ian Dallow, Head of Retail, added: “Over the last 36 years, Adnams has been relentless in its pursuit of listing fine and quality wines in our stores to satisfy all tastes and occasions. This focus has intensified over the last year, supported by the passion and knowledge of our retail teams.

“The recognition from Harpers in being voted ‘East of England Stand Out Wine Retailer and 15th National Best Independent Wine Retailer’ is so exciting for us all and is a testament to the hard work that has been undertaken throughout the last year in particular.”

Adnams was declared ‘a fantastic all-rounder for East Anglia,’ but what else makes a Top 50 Best Indie according to the judges? They are enthused by the vibrancy, diversity and professionalism of the sector, which is down to both the people running and working in these dynamic businesses, as well as the far-reaching ranges they offer.

Whether traditional or modern, solely bricks-and-mortar retail or hybrid operations, small or multiple-sited, all businesses are considered equally by the judges on their individual merit, making a placement in the 50 Best something to be coveted and celebrated.