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Great British Pub Awards

Pub Awards: Best Wine finalist - The Chequers Inn, Bilton-in-Ainsty, York

By Daniel Woolfson , 08-Sep-2016
Last updated on 08-Sep-2016 at 14:09 GMT2016-09-08T14:09:08Z

Chequers Inn owner, Antony Pratt
Chequers Inn owner, Antony Pratt

Antony Pratt’s idyllic Yorkshire pub the Chequers won the title of Best Wine Pub last year and it’s easy to see why.

The Chequers sits a brief drive from York and has a regularly-changing wine list that delivers a solid selection of grapes and vintages without breaking the bank, including from local vineyard Yorkshire Heart. Key to the success of the Chequers’ wine offer is its approachability – there are unfamiliar grapes, but they sit alongside well-known varieties. The focus is on encouraging people to experiment with wines they may not have tried before, rather than splashing out on a possibly disappointing, expensive mistake.

All of the pub’s full-time staff have level 2 WSET qualifications and are happy to recommend wines to accompany the pub’s menu, which has helped boost wine sales by 18% since last year.

Club

Pratt and his team already promote the business to a wide audience through media and word-of-mouth but are eager to grow the Chequers’ focus on wine further with the development of a new wine club, which has already been successfully trialled.

When it comes to marketing, the Chequers regularly publicises new additions to the list via social media, reaching an audience of well over 1,000. Over the next year, Pratt aims to push wine flights and events, as well as beginning to offer certain wines by the case to further engage the local community.

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