Entrepreneurial twins Mark and Richard Winnington, who come from Congleton, are opening independent wine education company Cheshire Mersey Wine School, to offer a range of tastings and courses for people who are keen to learn about wine.
The graduates – both former assistant managers at Majestic Wine – are the newest franchisees within the rapidly expanding www.localwineschool.com family – a UK-wide network of independent wine schools providing evening tastings, Saturday events, four and eight-week courses, private parties, bespoke tastings and corporate events for beginners and experts alike.

The wine school will cater especially for the Cheshire and Merseyside areas with venues based at Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Chester.

The 24 year-old twins’ love of wine stemmed from a trip to Italy in 2010, when they visited Franciacorta – a regional vineyard specialising in sparkling wine. After taking a tour of the vineyards, the presses and production facilities and experiencing a tasting session, they were completely hooked on the world of wine and were determined to pursue careers in the industry.

The duo both achieved places on Majestic Wine’s graduate management scheme, based in separate branches, where they gained Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualifications, honed their retail skills, visited wine making countries, ran customer tastings and were promoted to assistant manager roles.

Mark, who holds a degree in Media and Marketing from Liverpool John Moores University, worked in Majestic’s Kendal, Birkdale and Macclesfield branches. His twin Richard, who studied Hospitality Business Management and Events at Sheffield Hallam University, worked at the Clitheroe, Macclesfield, Chester and Ashbourne stores.

Mark said: “We found localwineschool.com when browsing online, and thought it presented an ideal opportunity to do what we love most – talking about and tasting wine – within a fun, relaxed environment in the local area we know best.

“At Cheshire Mersey Wine School we aim to offer an entertaining, informative and local wine tasting service, designed to help everyone enjoy learning about the most exciting liquid on the planet.”

Richard added: “We’re really looking forward to bringing more people into the wonderful world of wine and wine tasting. Few hobbies are as much fun as learning about wine, and it’s a great pleasure to go out and open up this world that many people find confusing and complicated, so that this fantastic product can be enjoyed and understood by anyone with an interest in it.

“We want to bring a contemporary, fresh twist to wine tasting – and to get rid of any notions of these events being intimidating, formal experiences.”

The school’s first Liverpool event, an Introduction to Wine Tasting evening, will take place at 7.00pm on Friday 11 July at Jury’s Inn, Albert Docks, L3 4FN. The first Chester event will take place at 7.00pm on Friday 18 July at The Pitcher and Piano, St John St, CH1 1DA.

Tickets are now on sale at www.cheshiremerseywineschool.com

The brothers will also be appearing at the Congleton Food and Drink Festival on Sunday, June 15, from 10.30am – 4.30pm in Congleton town centre.