Highgate tavern crowned best wine pub in the UK

Manager of The Red Lion & Sun Heath Ball

Landlord of The Red Lion & Sun Heath Ball - Credit: The Red Lion & Sun

A Highgate pub has beaten stiff competition to be crowned best wine provider in the UK 

The Red Lion & Sun in North Road, is celebrating winning the Wine Pub of the Year Award at the Night of Excellence Awards in Northamptonshire.

The public house, which also features in the Top 50 Gastro Pubs of 2022, won the award for the depth and breadth of its wine offer – from great house wines through to more rare and adventurous ones served by an Enomatic machine.

Night of Excellence winners on stage

HIghgate's The Red Lion & Sun was amongst the Night of Excellence winners on stage having won Wine Pub of the Year Award - Credit: NoE

Heath Ball, landlord of The Red Lion & Sun, said he was "delighted" with the win. 

"When I first took over the Red Lion & Sun we barely sold any wine, so to now be recognised as one of the best wine pubs in the UK is an achievement I am immensely proud of," he said.

“I want to say a big thank you to my team who do an amazing job serving our customers every day, starting a love affair with great wine for many customers who come through our door.”

Judges commended the pub's inclusive approach to wine, providing customers with simple to understand wine lists and supportive guidance from pub staff to help customers develop their knowledge of wine in a helpful and accessible way.

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Managers were also praised for ensuring each staff member understands wine and are able to recommend different wines to suit the tastes of differing customers.

The Night of Excellence Awards celebrates the success of great licensees and the businesses it runs in partnership with Greene King Pub Partners. 

Entrants go through a strict judging process including mystery visits in order to be crowned award winners.

Tim Sparrow, business development manager for Greene King Pub Partners, said: “It takes passion and enthusiasm to run a brilliant pub business, whatever the particular speciality might be.

"At the Red Lion & Sun, Heath and his fantastic team have consistently demonstrated a commitment to delivering excellence that has been second to none." 

Wayne Shurvinton, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners at the Night of Excellence Awards

Wayne Shurvinton, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners at the Night of Excellence Awards - Credit: NoE

Wayne Shurvinton, managing director for Greene King Pub Partners, added his congratulations: "A big well done to the Red Lion & Sun for winning Wine Pub of the Year.

“Our partners are a class above, so choosing the winners was no easy task and the bar was exceptionally high.”