Hennings picked out as Rioja ruler

Sussex-based wine merchant Hennings has been named the Rioja Independent Retailer of the Year, winning two of its team an all-expenses paid trip to Spain.

Judges Tom Perry, of the Rioja Wine Exporters Group, OLN's consultant editor Graham Holter and Spanish wine expert John Radford selected Hennings as the overall winner due to the diversity of its

range and its

ideas for in-store promotion s during Rioja in Retail week.

Hennings, which has branches in Pulborough and Petworth, ran in-store tastings and special offers which were promoted via window displays,

leaflets, shelf-edge barkers, its website and emails .

It also sold

more than 800 bottles of 19 different Riojas and saw sales increase by 34 per cent, compared with the same period from the previous year.

"Hennings pulled out all the stops and put on a magnificent display as well as getting into the sp irit of the competition with a good range of wines," Radford said.

Wine Buffs in Warrington and Portland Wine Cellars in Southport were both selected as runners-up. Wine Buffs caught the judges' eyes after hosting a Rioja & Tapas evening for 55 customers, and Portland Wine Cellars was praised for its

tastings of red, white and rosé Riojas every evening of Rioja in Retail week.