Wine company toasts success in competition

Barry Lewis and Duncan Mercer of Amber Valley Wines.
Barry Lewis and Duncan Mercer of Amber Valley Wines.

A business is celebrating after catching the attention of a top TV entrepreneur.

Amber Valley Wines has been highlighted by former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis after the company won his latest Small Business Sunday (SBS) Twitter contest.

Each week Mr Paphitis picks six small firms to showcase online and Amber Valley Wines was selected as one of the lucky few last week.

Owners Duncan Mercer, of Wessington, and Barry Lewis, from Heage, said they were delighted with the exposure.

Mr Mercer said: “We are over the moon as this is basically a free promotion which allows us to access excellent advice from one of the best businessmen and entrepreneurs out there.”

Mr Lewis added: “This really couldn’t have come at a better time and will give real momentum to our business.”

The SBS competition sees companies invited to send a promotional tweet to Mr Paphitis.

He selects six of his favourite messages and re-tweets them to his thousands of followers – boosting their exposure.

Mr Mercer and Mr Lewis tweeted: “Opportunity to taste the success yourself @TheoPaphitis – Amber Valley Wines, new thinking for finer drinking.”

Once the message had been retweeted, Amber Valley Wines’ twitter account attracted widespread attention.

The promotion will mean a permanent membership on Mr Paphitis’ SBS club on his website.

In addition, the firm will receive advice and tips from the entrepreneur.

The business was founded by wine enthusiasts Duncan Mercer and Barry Lewis in 2011.

Early last year, they planted two acres of vines on a hillside in Wessington.

They are planning to plant a further four acres this year and start building a winery early next year.