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The Wine Hall

The Wine Hall, a Perth-based e-commerce platform specialising in rare wines, is broadening its product range and targeting new markets following a funding boost from the Start Up Loans programme.

Founded in 2022 by 51-year-old Vanessa Tortella, a sommelier from Italy, The Wine Hall sells a range of rare and carefully sourced bottles from small and independent wineries in Italy and France to enthusiasts all over the UK.

After securing funding through Virgin Startup and the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme Vanessa is now looking to expand her selection of wines and import larger quantities to begin selling to luxury hotels, restaurants and high-end supermarkets this year.

During her 15 years in the hospitality sector, Vanessa observed the drinks market closely and identified a gap for rare and independent wines. The Wine Hall was launched in 2022 and has since been growing steadily.

Vanessa Tortella said:

“Putting small wineries on the map and bringing rare bottles to the market has been something I’ve been interested in since I started working in hospitality, and I had the idea of starting my own e-commerce business for a while.

“I love sharing my knowledge of rare and independent wines, and it’s been an incredible journey so far. I’m very grateful to Virgin Startup and the Start Up Loans programme for the funding and support I’ve received to develop my business.

“The next step is expanding my inventory. In the beginning, I mainly focussed on wines from Italy and France, but I’m currently sourcing an amazing wine from a producer in Lebanon that has never been exported before, and I’m eager to start selling not only to private customers but to a range of luxury businesses as well.”

Vanessa is one of the most recent entrepreneurs aged 50 and over to receive support from the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme. Since its launch in 2012, the initiative has provided £140 million of support to entrepreneurs from this age group across the UK, including 882 loans worth more than £8.5 million in Scotland.

Published on 12 March 2024

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