Well-known wine merchant expands into London

Co Down-based JN Wine supplies restaurants and hotels across Ireland

JN Wine, one of Ireland's best known independent wine merchants, is expanding its business to London with the purchase of award-winning wine retailer Highbury Vintners.

Co Down-based JN Wine was founded by James Nicholson in 1977. The business supplies hundreds of Ireland's leading restaurants and hotels, including Chapter One in Dublin, Ballyfin Demesne in Laois, Rathmullan House in Donegal and the Merchant Hotel in Belfast.

JN Wine has won the International Wine Challenge Regional Merchant of the Year 26 times since 1988.

The Crossgar business employs 30 people. Two years ago, it invested £300,000 (€335,134) to establish an online ordering system that supplies wines throughout Britain and Ireland.


Mr Nicholson said the purchase of Highbury Vintners represented a “strategic acquisition” .


It was purchased as an “investment by JN Wine and was privately funded”.

Mr Nicholson said: “Alongside introducing new and interesting wines from the JN Wine portfolio, we have ambitious plans for growth that includes a refurbishment of the 1,500sq ft retail outlet and increased investment in its digital presence in 2020.

“The Highbury Vintners name and brand will be reinforced, ensuring its legacy continues.”

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business