Wine retailer hand-picked for industry tour of California

A Lancashire independent wine retailer has beaten off stiff national competition to be hand selected by a team of industry experts to represent the North of England on a tour of California’s esteemed wine region.

Alex Buxton Aged In OakAlex Buxton, owner of Aged In Oak Wine Company, Market Place, Garstang, will take part in a prestigious industry tour along with six other independent wine retailers from around the country, visiting several of California’s renowned wine regions and vineyards. The trip has been organised in association with Off Licence News and The Wine Institute of California, as part of a special UK nationwide promotion.

The candidates will visit the vineyards and tour the cellars, attend trade talks, meet producers and suppliers and have the chance to forge some important trade links for the future. The full itinerary has yet to be revealed but the tour will take in Sanoma, Napa, Lodi and Mendocino.

Aged in Oak Wine Company has been trading in Garstang, Lancashire since December 2012 and also trades online. Alex, originally from Longridge, lives in Preston with his partner and co-owner of Aged In Oak Wine Company Emma Bailie.

Alex Buxton said: “I am honoured to have been chosen for this trip and very excited about the opportunity: seeing the vineyards, meeting the people behind the wines firsthand and rubbing shoulders with other independent wine retailers who are passionate about what they sell. There is also the small matter of sampling the wines.

“We already stock an excellent selection of Californian wines and this is an excellent opportunity to broaden our knowledge about the region and to bring exciting new products back to Lancashire. He added: "I am hoping to explore the possibility of setting up buying groups for independent retailers across the UK, to provide us with stronger purchasing power for more effective wine import. If this can be achieved, savings can be passed onto our customers and we can deliver a much more varied range of wines that we wouldn’t normally be able to deliver on an individual basis.”