About the Showroom
The Cellar Showroom is located at The Wine Society, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2BT.
Leave the A1M at junction 7 and follow signs to Stevenage town centre.
Turn left at first roundabout onto Gunnels Wood Rd which is dual carriageway.
Exit at next roundabout and come back on yourself, then immediately take the first left down Norton Green Road.
The Cellar Showroom is the second entrance on the right. There is ample car parking.
Take the steps from the station down to the Leisure Park and cross park to entrance on Six Hills Way.
Turn right and follow path to underpass on left.
Go through underpass then take steps up to left onto Norton Green Road.
The Cellar Showroom is the second entrance on the right. Alternatively, a taxi rank is situated at the front of the station.
||10am to 6pm
||10am to 6pm
||10am to 6pm
||10am to 7pm
||10am to 6pm
||9am to 5pm
MEET THE TEAM:
Lisa Fletcher, Showroom Manager
Lisa has worked in the Showroom since it first opened in 1989. Lisa's favourite wines are red or white from New Zealand, so her grape preferences are sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. Lisa's favourite sparkling wine is Prosecco which, Lisa says, goes down well on a lovely summers evening.
Helen Digweed, Senior Showroom Assistant
Helen originally joined in November 2005 at the age of 18 to work on Saturdays, and returned in September 2010 on a full-time basis. Helen's favourite wine region is Champagne, and at the moment her favourite is the Marguet Blanc de Noir. Helen completed her Advanced WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) qualification in January 2014.
Naomi Norwood, Showroom Co-ordinator
Naomi joined the society in 2004 having previously worked in the wine department at Fortnum and Mason. As well as now being one of the Showroom co-ordinators, Naomi is also responsible for Showroom marketing. Naomi has Advanced WSET and also worked towards her Diploma. Naomi likes white Rhône wines.
Samantha Vooght, Showroom Co-ordinator
Over the years Sam has had the opportunity to work in different areas of the organisation and also complete the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 3. As well as working at The Cellar Showroom, Sam spent around 18 months setting up the Members' Returns department and spent two years (and two pregnancies) working within Member Services, gaining first-hand knowledge of all aspects of the business. These opportunities have afforded Sam a wealth of experience which she was then able to take back to The Showroom.
Conrad Braganza, Fine Wine Adviser
Conrad joined The Society in 2003 and gained his WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Diploma soon after in 2006. Working as the fine wine and bin-end co-ordinator he is responsible for sourcing bin ends and wines for the Vintage Room, as well as organising the biannual bin-end sales and fine wine events held in The Showroom. Conrad is also a member of The Society's Quality Assurance Team and is a keen blogger on various wine-related topics. Passionate about all aspects of wine, especially matching with food, Conrad cites the Alsace and Rhône as his favourite regions.
Brian Digweed, Stock Controller/Cellar Showroom Assistant
Brian holds the Intermediate WSET qualification and is currently studying for his Advanced exams. Brian is responsible for stock and also prepares the collections. Brian's favourite wine regions are Loire and Italy.
Patricia Healy, Showroom Assistant
Patricia started as a Saturday assistant and she now works part time during the week. Patricia is a big fan of the The Society's Corbières, which she describes as consistently good.
David Connor, Showroom Assistant
David joined The Wine Society in September 2014. He is currently on the last lap of the WSET Diploma and, when not hunched over a textbook, enjoys spending time in the kitchen cooking and reading a good (non-wine-related!) book.
Emma Dorahy, Showroom Assistant (Saturdays)
Emma also works as Buying department co-ordinator. In her main role, Emma is the first point of contact for the buying department, responding to queries from members, producers and other parties. Emma also oversees the departmental quality control procedure, from identification of fault through to compensation for members. Emma has achieved WSET Diploma and has in-depth experience of The Society's wines. Emma's favourite wine region is Australia.
Team Member Spotlight
They like to keep us on our toes here in the Showroom! With each new List we revamp our displays to present the more than 900 wines it contains. Just as you are getting to grips with this cornucopia of choice, a new List is released full of new discoveries and curiosities. We’ve just finished changing the whole Showroom to mirror the new Spring List. It still gives me that kid-in-a-sweet-shop feeling seeing the new wines arrive on our shelves. So I thought I would share with you four of these delights that I’m looking forward to tasting over the coming months.
First stop is Oregon on America’s Pacific Northwest and Lemelson Thea's Selection Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015. This has all the hallmarks of a fine elegant pinot noir with fresh acidity balanced by lush red fruits and darker more complex notes (thanks to its bottle age). It isn't a showy wine but has a real ethereal quality and it will be interesting to see how it develops over the next three years or so.
We continue in the Americas but head south down to Uruguay. Pisano Progreso Tannat Reserve Pileta 97 2018 is 100% tannat, which is traditionally grown in Madiran in south west France. I saw that buyer Toby Morrhall made it one of his WOWs (wines of the week) back in February. Unlike its French cousin, this is a little less square and dense with notes of crunchy red fruits underpinned by fine ripe tannins. A wine with real energy and vitality.
So to the whites and a wine made a little closer to home by Three Choirs in Kent. Their Three Choirs First Release 2018 is produced from grapes ripened to perfection during our glorious summer of last year and has lovely notes of elderflower and apricots underpinned by lively fresh acidity. A wine to prove that the days of English wine being a non-serious novelty are long gone!
Last up is the Left Field Gisborne Albariño 2018. Albariño is more commonly found in Spain or Portugal, but we discovered this Kiwi example and think it’s wonderful! This peach and lemon-scented, dry, crisp wine has great charm and classic New Zealand purity.
What made you first fall in love with wine?
My first job was at Oddbins just at the tail-end of the old-school version when Gerald Scarfe still did the posters and you could paint on the windows. I have to say it did at times feel like being in a Hunter S Thompson adventure!
What's your favourite wine moment of joy?
I spent a wonderful few hours tasting tank samples with the brilliant winemaker Michael Brajkovich MW at his Kumeu River estate on New Zealand’s North Island. My only regret is I didn’t ask him more questions!
Who would be your ideal five ideal dinner party guests?
This is tricky but I think the combination of Billy Connolly, Michelle and Barack Obama, Professor Brian Cox and Maxine Peake would make for a fun evening and some lively conversations.
What wine would you serve them?
Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1998. So refined, elegant and utterly delicious.
To go with what food?
A fresh seafood platter of fish straight off the boat with lashings of aïoli and fresh bread on the side, and a summer sea view to match.
If you didn't work here, what would be your dream job?
A set designer for the theatre. I think my experience presenting the wines attractively on our shelves would come in to play.
If you see David on one of your visits say ‘hi’ and ask him to point you in the direction of our Kumeu River wines.
What are your opening times?
The Stevenage Showroom is open 10am to 6pm Monday to Wednesday & Friday, until 7pm on Thursday, and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday. The Showroom is closed on Sundays and bank holidays, except when it is open more frequently in the run-up to Christmas. Click here for more information on our Cellar Showroom.
Do I save money if I pre order my wines?
Pre-orders are not essential, but we do recommend them for large quantities. Pre orders received before midday Monday to Friday for collection the following day are rewarded with 25 pence discount per bottle, equivalent to £3 per dozen.
Where is the cellar showroom located in Stevenage (direction)?
Please click here for directions.
What stock does the Showroom hold?
We stock all items in the printed list sent out to members, as well as most of the wines from the 'features' sent to members. If you would like a specific wine it is always best to check that it is in stock in the Showroom.
Do you sell wooden boxes?
We don't sell wooden boxes but we do make them available for members to take from the Showroom. They are not always available as they come down to us only when the warehouse has broken down a number of wooden cases. As such, supply is on an ad hoc basis.
We ask for a donation to charity for the boxes and there is no prescribed amount for this. A charity box can be found close to the boxes in the Showroom for these donations.
We do not hold boxes for members to collect at a later date as we do not have space to do so over and above what is needed for members' orders.