A husband and wife team who have opened a new wine shop in Dunkeld, are awaiting their alcohol license to be approved by the council to launch their ‘wine cafe’.
Roseanna, 37, and Morgwn Preston-Jones, 38, first met each other 15 years ago in New York, where they both worked together in a coffee shop.
With years of experience in hospitality, wine and catering, the pair opened their own wine shop and cafe in the heart of Dunkeld, Redwood Wines, in mid-July.
Several members of Morgwn’s family own vineyards in one of California’s biggest wine-producing regions, Napa Valley, and he and Roseanna are on a mission to help locals discover a taste of America’s West Coast.
Naming the business Redwood Wines after the Californian redwood trees, Roseanna said the local landscape in Dunkeld, which is surrounded by forests, fit perfectly with the name.
She said: “We’ve got a small selection of wines at the moment but we really know them well.
“Morgwn’s step-mum’s wine from California is called Groth and so we carry that here and we’re really big on Californian wine, which is something I think British people are still getting used to. It’s maybe not everyone’s go-to wine so there’s a bit of education there.
“California has had a big influence on our business, certainly for Morgwn, whose background is being a chef. When we lived in California together we were always at the winery and it’s such a big part of our lives.”
Takeaway for now
After taking over the premises in March 2021, Roseanna and Morgwn are still waiting on their full alcohol licence to be approved by Perth and Kinross Council, and so can only serve takeaway food and bottles of unopened wine to customers at their Bridge Street shop.
“We’re still waiting on the granting of our full licence. At the moment we have an off-licence which we inherited from the post office before us. So we are currently doing wine and food to takeaway,” she added.
“Hopefully at the end of this month we will have food and alcohol on sale so that we can have a proper wine bar at night. We like to think that will happen in September or early October.
“It’s a bit of a long soft opening but it’s good because this way we are meeting a lot of locals and lots of people have shown an interest.
“We can offer a very small sample of wine in the shop, but that’s all at the moment.”
Growing up in hospitality, it made sense for Morgwn to take on the role of in-house chef as he whips up creations using some of Perthshire’s natural ingredients, ensuring they all pair well with the wines available.
Roseanna continued: “Morgwn has been a chef basically his whole life and his parents are both chefs – his dad taught at the culinary institute in San Francisco and his mum has been a private chef and caterer her whole career.
“He’s making all the food and the menu changes quite frequently depending what’s in season and what local suppliers have. He wanted it to be fun and spontaneous.
“Once people can sit in, the goal is to have lots of mini events where we do pairings, wine nights, champagne nights and we’re actually thinking of doing a partnership with the whisky shop in Dunkeld. We’d love for producers to come and do talks about their drinks and different types of wine production.
“When people are buying a lunch item, even though it’s just a takeaway salad, we’ve got ideas as to what wine might pair nicely with that.
“We’ve got a big sharing table in the middle of the space which can seat eight people, but there’s also two other tables and two bar top areas, so if people want to pop in and have a casual drink, once we have our licence, they can.
“We also serve coffees during the day so I suppose you could call us a wine cafe!”
Based in Roseanna’s hometown, the shop has been proving a hit with locals already, including some familiar faces.
“I grew up here so I know quite a lot of people in Dunkeld, my parents still live here and our daughter will go to the primary school here,” Roseanna added.
“We’ve been quite bowled over with the support we’ve had from the public and the local shop owners as well. There’s been a few sending people our way to buy their lunch here now, which is great!”
Redwood Wines is based at 12 Bridge Street in Dunkeld. The shop is open every Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 7pm and Sundays from noon to 5pm, closed on Mondays.