Page 22 - Yeovil Feast Magazine
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Averys Wine Merchants
In terms of adventurers, inventors, and discoverers, there are few that could have had more impact on the tastes and habits of today’s wine-drinking public or on the development of the world’s intoxicating and complex wine culture, than the Avery family. In fact, most would agree they are actually wine royalty!
Averys, the Bristol-based and second oldest wine merchant in the country, is currently in the highly educated and knowledgeable hands of  fth generation Mimi Avery.
Feast Magazine met with Mimi in the company’s labyrinthine cellars for a talk, a tasting, and tales of Avery genius. She is charming, entertaining, interesting and, all achievements considered, exceptionally modest.
There is a respectful emphasis put on the past, as with the provenance of a  ne wine, which can be seen and indeed felt within the cellar environment. There are original marketing posters by Valentino hanging from the bare brick walls, oenology objects d’art throughout and a premier grand cru selection of lightly dust coated wines, safely guarded by original wrought iron gates from the RMS Mauretania, an area that attracts silent adoration during a lunch hour or blissful moments wondering at what delights are yet to be uncorked. To say nothing of the 1,200 di erent wines retailing on-site at any one time, including an impressive share of sustainable, organic (and working towards organic), bio-dynamic, fair trade, carbon neutral, vegetarian, and vegan choices.
The story starts true in 1851, when John Avery bought a wine shop in Bristol where, in 1865, the vaulted wine cellars were built as seen today (with the exception of the odd o ce and kitchen or two). He passed the business onto his three sons and Averys came under the control of youngest son Joseph. He in turn, passed the business to his son Ronald, who in the 1920’s began to make his mark – none less notable than when he sailed his yacht into Bordeaux where he met the Moueix family – need we say more? Ronald bought a few cases of Château Pétrus, today one of the world’s most expensive wines.
Ronald’s son, John, saw his father’s bottle as a big one to  ll, but made the grade in equally  amboyant style in the mid- 60’s, by being an early supporter of Californian wines and is famed to have travelled Australia in a Rolls Royce ordering 10 cases of Penfolds Grange 1960 en route – the very  rst time Grange had been imported to the UK! He also explored New Zealand and in the 70’s imported its commercial wines back to the UK before even a drop of New Zealand sauvignon blanc had been produced!
In the 90’s Averys was the  rst ever wine merchant to o er personal wine advisors, an asset that quickly caught on industry wide.
Today, you will  nd 15 Averys wine advisors enthusiastically talking to clients around the UK – domestic customers, restaurants (around 20 of which are in Bristol and many established eateries in London such as Le Gavroche!), collectors, event organisers, and charities.
Mimi, who originally trained as an engineer and only galvanised her role at Averys in the 90’s, is now e ectively taking the business to the public. Her team works on new relations and new markets, and is open minded in its approach to sales, social media, and sampling by getting involved
www.averys.com 01179 214 146
Averys Wine Merchant 9A Culver Street Bristol, BA1 5LD
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