Novel Wines, started by Ben Franks and Gyorgy Zsiga is a company we’ve been fortunate to see from the very beginning when Ben – an aspiring entrepreneur writing and running a student magazine with a passion for wine – came along to our Rebel Meetup in Bath.

Since then, they’ve gone on to build an incredible company selling some of the most novel wines from all over the world (hence the name)!

Now, as a just reward for that growth, Novel Wines have won ‘Specialist Retailer – Central and Eastern Europe’ at the Decanter Retailer Awards 2019.

Here’s the full press release for more info:


It’s official! After just three years’ trading, the award-winning Bath wine merchant Novel Wines has been honoured with a prestigious Decanter award, recognising its range of truly unique wines from the region.

The ‘Specialist Retailer of the Year – Central and Eastern Europe’ award was announced at the Decanter Retailer Awards ceremony on 26 September 2019 with Novel Wines awarded the top gong and Croatian Fine Wines being named as Runner-up.

Since launching the business in September 2016, wine buyers and founders Ben Franks and Gyorgy Zsiga have grown the wine list from 90 wines to over 250 hand-selected bottles. The wines are sourced from across central and eastern Europe with a focus on Hungary, Croatia and Romania. Novel Wines also sources a range of wine from Asia, England & Wales, South Africa and the Americas to make up its truly unique wine list.

Ben Franks, CEO, commented about the awards: “We are absolutely thrilled to win the Decanter award. Thanks must go to our amazing winemakers across the region for making our job so exciting. We also wouldn’t be here without our incredible team who work hard to make sure we succeed in sharing these beautiful wines. We’re just absolutely over the moon!”

The merchant has served thousands of customers up and down the UK via its online retail and many restaurants, bars and hotels throughout London and the south west. On 28 September 2019, the team will be celebrating three years in business at their Annual Wine Tasting Party, this year hosted at the Apex Hotel in Bath, and the event has sold-out to 300 guests from across the country.

In October, wine buyers Ben and Gyorgy will be opening Novel Wines’ first bricks and mortar shop in Bath. The pair are hoping the premises will mean they can run more events for their locals and offer a place where customers visiting Bath can pop in and say hello to the team.

“It’s onwards and upwards from here,” Ben says. “The way wine brings people together and creates memories is why we love what we do; and what better way to do that than with a wine that piques your curiosity and then delivers 110% on quality? Central and eastern Europe is a real hotbed for high quality wines and I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t tried them to step outside their comfort zone and do exactly that.”

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