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In the press...

Specialist Cellars provide New World wines to the comfort of your own home, aiming to execute the finest customer service and care South London has to offer. And it appears that our efforts have not gone unnoticed. We are so proud to be mentioned in the below articles, with highlights from: Decanter, Code Top 100 Most Influential Women In Hospitality, and The Drinks business, to name a few. 

Check out the relevant articles below.


International Wine Challenge – June 2021

IWC Specialist Merchant of the Year New Zealand Winner

The IWC UK Merchant Awards, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2021, were launched to recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of UK wine trade.
Specialist Cellars has won 6 years in a row as a Specialist Merchant Awards for its outstanding range of New Zealand wines!

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Wine Blast Podcast – May 2021

S2 E15: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Blast is a podcast hosted by Masters of wine and husband and wife Susie and Peter. The latest episode features Mel Brown bigging up New Zealand Sauvignon!
“We wanted to hear the views of someone who sells New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, we asked her why Sauvignon Blanc has proved so popular!”
Susie Barrie and Peter Richards

Listen to the full podcast and Mel’s segment, here.

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Code Hospitality – April 2021

100 Most influential women in hospitality 2021

Brown has built a female management team and adapted the restaurant at every turn in the past year, alongside running online wine shop Specialist Cellars and a wine bar in Pop Brixton.” 
Adam Hyman & Lisa Markwell

Read all about Mel, and the rest of these badass women, here.


The Wine Show – March 2021

Our favourite indie wine merchants

Specialist Cellars curates the harder-to-find, best of, new release and most delicious New World wines all in one place for the UK market.” 
Joe Fattorini

The Wine Show features some of the biggest names in wine today, including Matthew Goode and Joe Fattorini. Check out their recommendation of us here.

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The South Londoner – December 2020 Cover Issue Pg. 20

THINK BIG, SHOP SMALL – The festive season unlocked

“Specialist Cellars in Brixton is putting New World wines on the map, led by Melanie Brown, founder and CEO of Heist Group, which incorporates Specialist Cellars, the Pop Brixton store and The Laundry at Walton Lodge, an all-day neighbourhood bistro and wine shop.”
Laura Burgoine

Read the full article here.


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The Drinks Business – July 2020

Five of the best specialist UK wine merchants

“Specialist Cellars’ New Zealand roots are still very much evident, with a fantastic selection of wines personally selected by Brown, but her remit has expanded, launching wines from both Australia and South Africa and bringing her keen eye and ability to source some of the best and niche wines available to her Brixton base.”
Lauren Eads

Read the full article here.


Decanter – April 2020

Where to buy wine: Award-winning retailers that deliver amid lockdown

“‘They embody the vibrancy of the New Zealand wine scene,’ was how one judge described Specialist Cellars.”
Olivia Mason

Read the full article here.


Decanter – September 2019

Decanter Retailer Awards 2019

We were lucky enough to be nominated and win the award for New Zealand Specialist Retailer of the Year as The New Zealand Cellar!

Check out the full list of winners here.


The Buyer – October 2018

Melanie Brown on launching her new Australian wine cellar

“Since starting The New Zealand Cellar, Mel has become widely respected as one of the biggest influencers on New Zealand wine in the UK. There are now hopes she can do the same for Australia…”
Roger Jones

Read the full article here.

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The Drinks Business- April 2016

Top 10 millennial wine venues

“With a permanent wine bar in the middle of Boxpark, Brixton, The New Zealand Wine Cellar scores highly on millennial appeal.”
Darren Smith

Read the full article here.

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The Londonist – February 2016

London’s best independent wine shops: The New Zealand Cellar

“The New Zealand wine cellar is the baby of Melanie Brown, a Kiwi who has spent the best part of the last decade tirelessly promoting the wines of her home country. Last year she opened up a dedicated New Zealand wine shop in one of the Pop Brixton containers.”
Donald Edwards

Read the full article here.


The Resident – February 2016

Become an Expert on New Zealand Wine

“Wine expert and founder of New Zealand Cellar, Melanie Brown, opened her first Wine Bar & Store at Pop Brixton last year. Here, Melanie tells The Resident why she is championing New Zealand wines, how to look like a wine expert in restaurants and what she’s drinking now…”
The Resident

Read the full interview here.


1 News New Zealand – January 2016

London pop-up helps showcase the best of New Zealand wine

“A garage in the London suburb of Brixton is an unlikely place to find a New Zealand wine showcase, but people are flocking to Mel Brown’s pop-up shop for a taste of their favourite Kiwi tipple.”
1 News

Read the full article here.

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BOE Magazine – January 2016

A Bite From My Life: Melanie Brown

“We chat to Melanie Brown, Founder of The New Zealand Cellar, a wine retailer and wine bar that aims to educate the British public about the breadth and variety of wines on offer from her native New Zealand.”

Read Mel’s interview here.

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Viva Magazine New Zealand – November 2015

Wine: London’s Learning

“Melanie Brown’s pop-up is the place to go for hard-to-get New Zealand wines, and an education”
Jo Burzynska

Read the full article here.

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About Time Magazine – October 2015

Top 5 Hidden Wine Bars in London

“The New Zealand Cellar are set to take on Brixton later this month. They are opening their very first wine bar in Pop Brixton. This is one for lovers of New Zealand Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs, as it exclusively sells kiwi made wine.”
Rosie Crossman

Check out the full recommendation here.


The Guardian – August 2015

Innovation in funding 2015-16 competition entry: The New Zealand Cellar

“Melanie Brown, founder of London-based The New Zealand Cellar, explains why the business should win the innovation in funding category of the Guardian Small Business Showcase competition.”
The Guardian

Read our full entry here.

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Harpers Wine and Spirit Trade News – May 2015

Online retailer The New Zealand Cellar set to open first London shop this week

“The New Zealand specialist e-retailer, which was launched last June by New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown, launched a crowdfunding exercise through Kickstarter in April to raise £35,000 to set up its first shop, but exceeded its target within five days.”
Arabella Mileham

Read the full article here.


The New Zealand Herald – April 2015

Kiwi wine store appeal exceeds £35,000 target

“A New Zealand woman who launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising £35,000 ($68,000) to set up a specialist wine store in Brixton, London has raised almost £40,000 – five days out from the campaign ending.”
NZ Herald

Read the full article here.

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The Drinks Business April 2015

NZ Cellar ‘humbled’ by funding response

“A New Zealand online wine specialist hoping to open its own retail space has become the drinks industry’s latest crowdfunding success story, breaking through its £35,000 target within five days.”
Gabriel Stone

Read the full article here.


The New Zealand Herald – April 2015

Kiwi appeal for £35,000 UK wine store

“A New Zealand woman has launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising £35,000 ($68,000) to set up a specialist wine store in Brixton, London.”
NZ Herald

Read the full article here.

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The Drinks Business – April 2015

NZ shop gets physical via crowdfunding

“Online outlet The New Zealand Cellar has turned to crowdfunding in a bid to raise £35,000 within just two weeks to enable the launch of its first shop.”
Gabriel Stone

Read the full article here.

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Harpers Wine and Spirit Trade News – April 2015

The New Zealand Cellar crowdfunds to raise money for first shop

“The boutique wine e-commerce business, which was launched last June by New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown, is looking to raise £35,000 through Kickstarter to fit out the new shop.”
Arabella Mileham

Read the full article here.

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Otago Daily Times – January 2015

Selling British on virtues of NZ wine

“Kiwi Mel Brown moved to the United Kingdom 10 years ago and has been fundamental in importing premium New Zealand wines to Europe with top London-based Kiwi chef Peter Gordon.”
Louise Scott

Read Mel’s interview here.

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New Zealand Entrepreneur Magazine – September 2014 Cover Issue Pg. 10

10 Questions with Melanie Brown of The New Zealand Cellar

“My goal was to create and showcase premium New Zealand wine in the UK for consumers to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. I want to highlight the diversity and regionality within New Zealand and want to encourage the UK to discover a new New Zealand wine.”
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Read Mel’s interview here.


The New Zealand Herald – May 2014

Online shop showcases NZ wines in UK

“New Zealand wine sales to Britain are set to get a boost from a new supplier to the lucrative export market. Online shop The New Zealand Cellar will showcase more than 150 premium wines from 50 different wineries around New Zealand.”
Holly Ryan

Read the full article here.

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Harpers Spirit and Wine Trade News – May 2014

Premium New Zealand wine commerce site launches in UK

“Top New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown is launching an e-commerce site dedicated to over 160 premium New Zealand wines for the UK market.”
Gemma McKenna

Read the full article here.


Decanter Magazine – April 2014

Melanie Brown: DWWA 2014 judge’s interview

“A New Zealand native, Melanie Brown completed her chef apprenticeship in Christchurch, before moving to the UK in 2005. She joined the team at The Providores and Tapa Room in London in 2006, taking over the management of the restaurant’s wine list in 2009 and transforming it to feature the largest selection of premium New Zealand wines in Europe.”

Read Mel’s interview here.


Closed, for now

Specialist Cellars has paused its virtual doors for now. We’re still open and operating at our Pop Brixton store this Summer. You can also visit us 7 days a week at The Laundry Restaurant for sublime food, wine and coffee @brixtonlaundry.

Any outstanding vouchers can be redeemed at The Laundry or Pop Brixton store. Sadly we can no longer redeem these online.

Any queries contact melanie@heist-group.com

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