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Meet Ben Franks, CEO

Ben Franks CEO of Novel WinesBen Franks is the co-founder of Novel Wines, which he set-up alongside business partner Gyorgy Zsiga in 2016. Passionate about English wines and sharing stories from truly unique wineries across the world, Ben was originally an award-winning wine journalist before beginning to buy-in and sell wines directly throughout the UK. Read a bit more about him here.

Hails from: Salisbury, England

Favourite wine? Changes every week! I think I'll always love Grace Koshu Kayagatake, just because it's such meticulous wine-making. My every day favourite is Terra Tangra Mavrud Blend, a big jammy organic red wine, or the Painted Wolf Roussanne, a delicious white. If I'm drinking sparkling, I'll always go English. So hard to choose one but Raimes Classic is always on point.

Favourite food? Food is my first love, so anything new excites me. My other half's butternut squash curry is delicious, especially with a glass of Sula Chenin Blanc. Potatoes in all shapes and sizes, Ramen, fava beans, rich olive oil and fresh bread... the list goes on! However, I could eat properly spicy three-bean chilli all-day every day.

Best cheese and wine combo? For me it's a late harvest sweet white wine and a good blue cheese. Blue Monday or crumbly Stilton are two of my favourites. I'll take either with a bottle of Kardos Fairytale Tundermese. Dry Riesling or Pinot Noir with a cheeseboard, especially the Bibo Runge Revoluzzer Riesling when budget allows!

Outside of work I like to… Read; go for long, aimless walks; travel and eat my way through all the local restaurants; try for the three hundredth or so time to write a novel.

What’s the next big thing? Whoever can get everyone to pay attention to climate change, and the real dangers it brings, is going to be a hero. For me, and through our work supporting YENA, I also know that over the next few years a new generation of young entrepreneurs will start doing incredible things.

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Aldwick Estate

Somerset, England

This absolutely stunning vineyard is set in the Mendip hills in Somerset, just outside of Bristol and Bath. Aldwick Estate has been family-run for five generations and is today Somerset's largest vineyard at 11 acres of vines. The estate is headed up by managing director Sandy Luck. Sandy says the mission for Aldwick is "to balance respect for tradition with the drive for innovation".

Vines are hand-tended throughout the year by a small team based on site. Grapes are hand picked every September and October and pressed by wine maker Steve Brooksbank to create a range of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines.

Thier Wines

Bacchus 2021

100% Bacchus | 11.5% ABV | Stainless Steel

Vibrant, herbaceous dry white wine that's soft on the palate and intensely satisfying

Pinot Noir 2022

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Mary's Rose 2022

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Classic Cuvee 2017

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Seyval Jubilate 2022

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