Duncan Murray Wines

Duncan and his merry team of wine merchants have expanded from their long-established, award-winning, shop in the centre of Market Harborough, to open their second shop right here with us at the Eco Village! Allowing them to expand their already vast range of wines, beers, and spirits even further.

However, it also allows Duncan and the team the opportunity to delve into the exciting eco, vegan, and up-and-coming new producers. Excitingly, we are home to their now infamous refillable wine bottles. (Sounds like a joke, it isn't!).

What Duncan doesn't know about wine (and moustaches) really isn't worth knowing...




How, where and why Duncan Murray Wines all began.

The story of Duncan Murray Wines, is a story about true love. And that's all there is to know, but we will of course tell you more!

A young and spritely Duncan fell in love with the drinks industry (told you it was a love story), way back when, circa 1989, if you can remember that far back. We can't. Nope.

At a time when dungarees were all the rage, Duncan discarded those and took up a HND Hotel Management course in Cheltenham. It was during a trip to the Loire, Cognac and Bordeaux he realised that hotels really didn't hold the same appeal as the wine industry, and so the love story really begins.

Duncan entered his wine trade debut dressed as a Christmas Fairy for Oddbins in Cambridge. Despite such an unusual introduction, he stayed with the company, progressing to manage stores in Leicester, Cambridge and North London.

Combined with a stint working in vineyards in Champagne, Alsace and Languedoc, he and wife-to-be Megan (see! It actually is a love story!) moved to live in the sunny town of Montpellier and soak up all that expertise.

Having done that, the two returned to Leicestershire, intent on opening their own wine merchants. Duncan Murray Wines opened in Market Harborough in December 2001, just in time for the Christmas rush. Handy.

They began by specialising in wines from Portugal and the Mediterranean, but this has since expanded massively in the twenty years following. Now with an eclectic range of wines, beers and spirits; all from small, independent producers (of course!).

The business has also diversified hugely during this time, as any good business must. They now supply to local restaurants and businesses, and their Saturday afternoon Wine Tasting sessions are legendary among the mean streets of Market Harborough.

More recently, the team opened their own Pop-Up Wine Bar within the shop, something they loved and has been a vision from early on. However, the recent pandemic has thwarted these plans temporarily, and switched heavily to an online ordering presence instead. (Lockdown wine, anyone?!).



Why join the Eco Village.

Duncan Murray Wines have already expanded the shop once, and unless they start evicting their business neighbours, then they are fast running out of room to try new things!

With a smaller outlet, in a larger shop (or Village!) with an eco-focus, this allows Duncan, Megan and the team to explore many exciting new developments within their industry.

Stocking the Organic & Orgasmic Eco Wine (Blanco and Tempranillo, wine fans), this is decanted into hinge-top reusable glass bottles, so customers can refill to enjoy waste-free wine!

Mostly though, The Beths love a good beer on a Thursday night so they knew they'd sell a few!



Sustainability factors for Duncan Murray Wines.

Long before it was 'a thing', Duncan Murray Wines have focused on taking sustainable measures for their business. From the beginning they were into recycling and reusing as much as possible, to reduce their waste, they have sold on wine crates for a nominal fee for many a year.

Their plastic bags have had a 2p refund for every re-use procedure in place for in excess of fifteen years. They were also one of the first shops in the UK to sell sustainably produced jute bags (from Jutexpo), to encourage customer reuse as much as possible. 

To boost this further, they have charged for plastic bags for a number of years, long before government guidance came into play, and have had associations with Mors Bags on several occasions too.

They have also been recycling cardboard and plastic through Green4Life for a number of years, plus glass and wood too, and are always looking for improvements in this area.



Future goals for Duncan Murray Wines.

With the lockdown boom changing the shape of online retailing dramatically, Duncan Murray Wines are about to launch a new transactional website, which they are very excited about.

With this, they are aiming to grow and gain a stronger online presence, as well as increase both the retail and wholesale sides of their business too.

We think with the combination of a larger-than-life business owner, well-respected authority, ahead-of-their-time eco focus, incredible service reputation, and award-winning shop; means this should be easily achievable!



Things you probably didn't know about Duncan Murray.

  1. Duncan almost lost his right eye in 1990 when he cycled into the back of a police car! We're not sure if the policeman poked said eye.
  2. Ever one for having fun, Duncan was once a Gorillagram for a friend in Cambridge. Picking her up and feeding her bananas at her works leaving do, he then proceeded to climb on top of cars, stopping traffic in the process. And we now understand why he opened a shop in Market Harborough and not Cambridge....


Discover more about Duncan Murray Wines.

All the amazing wines, beers, ciders and spirits can be found here at our Main Room in the Village. With chilled products located in a fridge next to the milk machine, and the rest of the range on the shelving next to Refill Revolution.

To find out more about Duncan's story, you can visit their website, or follow the latest shenanigans (and dad jokes) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.