In 2020, Cyriaque Lajoinie and Beniamino Berluti began a journey to realise their dream. The duo shared a huge passion for wine, and between them had a vast knowledge and wealth of experience in the industry. After pop up events and online tastings proved a success, Benji and Cyriaque utilised their combined talents further to open their very own wine shop and tasting room. Luckily for York, 2 many Wines arrived soon after on the city’s independent hotspot of Bishopthorpe Road.
It was this thriving community street that Cyriaque had dreamt of opening a wine shop on since he returned to York 15 years ago. In the meantime, he had continued a career which had taken him around the world, from his Paris origins to overseas work as a sommelier and a wine importer. Benji too had spent many years working around wine, running bars in his home country of Italy, before landing in York and now treating the city to their expertise.
Having immediately and impressively adapted to the lockdowns of the time, 2 many Wines quickly gained a reputation for the quality of its products and the inclusivity of its service. Their initial concept was a virtual wine bar which tailored bottles for individual tastes in a uniquely personal offering, delivered to your door. This was enhanced by their Zoom wine club Chez Barbara, which hosted guest speakers from the world of wine and provided samples to enjoy at home.
These winning online formulas were brought to real life in 2021. To get there, York displayed its collective spirit by supporting Benji and Cyriaque’s Crowdfunder campaign to open a Bishy Road shop, which not only the pair desired, but locals demanded too. With funding in place, 2 many Wines became a physical thing, and continued to emit the same warmth and charm, education and excellence.
In this stylish and inviting wine store, the ethos remains inclusive; you’ll be welcomed in to a safe space and put in safe hands. The hundreds of bottles that decorate the interior have been personally selected, often by visiting the producers and getting to know the people and the stories behind the wine. It is this extra insight which enables Benji and Cyriaque to stock only exceptional wines for all palates and prices, and ensures that we are drinking the best of 2 many Wines.
Chez Barbara is also excelling offline, as the tasting club comes to the shop every other Tuesday and creates a wonderful atmosphere for a fabulous evening. From 6:30pm each fortnight, you’ll be treated to a talk from a different wine professional, including producers, importers, ambassadors and makers, whilst sampling 4 delicious wines and a little food. The experience is well worth the £22.50 and also gets you 10% off wines on the night, which will be too irresistible to not take home.
From decades learning their craft and following their passion, Benji and Cyriaque have created a unique shop of fine quality and true service. They may be the ones fulfilling their dream, but we, the customers, are reaping the benefits. For York, there is no such thing as too many wines when we’ve got Benji and Cyriaque to choose them for us. We are just thankful that there is such a thing as 2 many Wines.
Thinking of visiting? Find out more about 2 many Wines by clicking here.