by Dudley Brown


Australia’s Best Independent Wine Stores Competition

1 July 2013

Winners Announced

TheWineRules wine industry blog announced the results of the inaugural “Australia’s Best Independent Wine Stores 2013” on-line competition today.

By category, the winners are as follows:

Large / Diversified:

– Nick’s Wine Merchants Melbourne, VIC

Specialty (three winners):

– Bond’s Cnr Fine Wines – Sydney NSW

– Victorian Wine Center – Melbourne VIC

– Fine Wine Merchant – Mt. Eliza VIC


-121BC Cantina and Enoteca – Sydney NSW


– United Cellars – – Sydney NSW

The winners will receive a two-day stay in the McLaren Vale wine region sponsored by The Retreat at Chapel Hill Winery.

In announcing the results, Dudley Brown said “we were so pleased that nearly 1400 people took part in our online poll held during June to recognize Australia’s best wine merchants. Would like to thank WBM Magazine and all of TheWineRules followers on Twitter and WordPress who helped publicize this completely unique digital / social media wine event. Given the terrific response, we intend to expand the competition in 2014.”

John Cox of Bond’s Cnr Fine Wines said that he was hugely excited to be recognized in his first year in business. “We’d like to thank our winemaker suppliers and our customers for allowing us to offer something special.”

“Whether by having a strong fine food component in their offering, unique or rare wines, a massive selection or personalized service, all the winners share a commitment to wine knowledge, consumer education and service that sets them apart. The real winners are the consumers who frequent these stores,” Brown added.

Alex Chlebnikowski of Nick’s thanked “all of our customers for their ongoing support and patronage and our hard-working staff that has resulted in Nicks Wine Merchants winning this award.”

The fact that a number of the winning stores are relative newcomers “belies the notion that there is a lack of vitality in the sector. Given the pedigree of the 80+ nominees, it is obvious that social media savvy retailers are finding new ways to connect with customers” Brown noted.

Stewart Plant from Fine Wine Merchant in Mt. Eliza near the Mornington Peninsula commented, “It’s an honour for a young business such as ours to have the extensive range and expertise that we work so hard on building and maintaining to be recognised amongst such illustrious company.”

In the online category, United Cellars Director David Singer said that “we are ecstatic to recognized as Australia’s best online retailer.”


TheWineRules (,  @thewinerules1 on Twitter) is a wine industry blog written by winegrower / vinocateur Dudley Brown of Inkwell Wines in McLaren Vale. All opinions, mistakes, etc. and are solely his.

WBM is the premier wine industry magazine in Australia. (

The Retreat at Chapel Hill Wines is the finest culinary and wine destination accommodation in McLaren Vale