Padstow’s Bin Two has romped home for a second year running with top placing in our 50 Best Indies 2020 list.

This small but perfectly-formed hybrid merchant joined fellow top 10 indies during a live webinar earlier today (11 September), where the countdown from 10 to the coveted No. 1 took place.

Beating Luvians (No. 2) and Oxford Wine Company (No. 3) to clinch the top spot in this hard contested annual celebration, Bin Two’s team were clearly delighted with their success, with the atmosphere of indie-camaraderie further enhanced by all-round toasts of Gosset Champagne.

The company was singled out once more for “its innovation, creativity, community-focused ethos, marketing flair and championing the unusual”, with our judges adding, “roll on our 50 Best Indies 2020 list and owner Mike Boyne and his team have once again delivered on all this and more”.

The webinar marked the final countdown in a week that has seen the results released in tranches of 10 each day, with the much-anticipated results providing a showcase for the best independent wine merchants in the UK.

During the final live session each of these merchants was asked to reveal a little of the personality and strategy behind the success of their business, which you can watch on Harpers website or via the link here. A full write up on the 50 Best Indies 2020 is also now out with our digital edition, again up on

In addition to being judged on a host of far-reaching attributes from company ethos, range and innovation, this year’s 50 Best Indies also considered the agility and adaptability shown by businesses in the face of the pandemic in what has been a most extraordinary year.

The Harpers team would like to again extend a massive and hearty congratulations to all of our top 10, along with all the fantastic merchants that made it onto our 50 Best Indies 2020 list this year, as listed below.

We’d also like to thank our generous sponsors, Louis Latour Agencies and Lanchester Wines, for partnering on this year's awards and making it all possible.

Well done all and we hope to see many of you back next year.

The Judges

Joe Fattorini

Presenter, The Wine Show

Nik Darlington

Director, Graft Wine Company

Nicky Forrest

Managing director, Phipps PR

Mark Roberts

Director of sales, Lanchester Wines

Rebecca Fraser

Head of marketing, Louis Latour Agencies

Lee Sharkey

Publisher, Harpers Wine & Spirit

Andrew Catchpole

Editor, Harpers Wine & Spirit

3. Oxford Wine Company, Oxfordshire (Best Home Counties Indie)

From humble beginnings in owner Ted Sandbach’s garage to the multifaceted company it is today, comprising four shops, a wine café, piano and wine bar, wholesale operation and – boosted by lockdown – a significant and growing online retail arm, this group never seems to sit still. A remarkable global list of around 2,000 genuinely exciting and original wines and spirits is a testimony to the quality of the team, both in terms of sourcing and engaging with customers via a medley of tastings, events, winemaker-led masterclasses, dinners and wine fairs. Staff training and sustainability are taken very seriously too, reflected in the customer experience across the very varied outlets, helping to ensure this leading UK merchant’s high placing once again.

By Andrew Catchpole

11 September 2020

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