SPECIALIST wine importers near York have seen an upsurge in sales to local customers during the Covid-19 crisis.

York Wines, an independent wine merchants, usually sells directly to customers from its small shop in Sheriff Hutton and supplies retailers, pubs and restaurants.

The lockdown saw the shop close and brought a significant drop in wholesale trade.

Stuart Vass founded the business with his wife Tessa 35 years ago and they now co-own York Wines with business partner Alex Edwards.

Stuart said demand from local retailers, including farm and community shops, increased and then their website went 'crazy' with online orders.

"We started to do home deliveries. We did it before but it wasn't a big part of our business," he said. "One day last week we had 6,500 bottles delivered in one day."

He added: "Overall, our wholesale is significantly down but our retail, encompassing online and home deliveries and local deliveries, went mad. We have sent a van into York every day.

"We have had so much good feedback. Customers are giving such fantastic reviews all the time. We are delivering within 24 to 48 hours."

York Wines imports wine exclusive to them from France, Spain and Italy, along with wines from other importers who only supply to independent merchants.

York Wines has promoted its deliveries through The Press Supporting Local Businesses campaign which is offering free adverts to family and independent businesses.

Alex said: "It has definitely generated new customer orders for us, and it is great that we are being supported by the local community."

To arrange a free advert, email nicola.haigh@localiq.co.uk