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The arrival of The Gilded Grape in Ilkley has introduced a distinctly new way to buy and taste wine in the famous Yorkshire spa town.

When it comes to life and work, Michelle Jarvis has always been ‘a glass half full’ sort of girl and so it came as no surprise to many when she announced in 2021 she was quitting her successful job in finance to pursue a career in wine.

Now just two years later, Michelle has become the toast of the town with the launch of her wine emporium The Gilded Grape, located in the heart of Ilkley.

Having opened the doors to her new venture late last year, Michelle came with the promise of offering customers a unique wine tasting and buying experience.

And now, within the space of just a few months, her welcoming approach, stylish tasting room and knowledge of all things grape-related is proving a huge pull for those looking to enjoy their wine in a relaxed and friendly setting.

For this is not merely a grog shop where you can pick up a nice bottle of red, nor is it another high street wine bar, instead Michelle has created a cosy retreat where you can sit back and relax whilst enjoying some of the most unique wines from around the globe.

Talking about their popular offering, Michelle said: “As well as stocking a huge range of wines which we sell by the bottle, we are also open every Friday and Saturday until late for tasting sessions where customers can come in, relax in our lounge room and try out one or two of our wines of the week.”

So successful have the nights been, Michelle is now planning to expand her offerings with regular cheese, meat and wine tasting evenings with the help of local suppliers.

It is a far cry from her days crunching numbers in the world of finance and Michelle says she is thrilled to have fulfilled her dream of running her own business and doing something she has a real passion for.

It was whilst travelling across Europe several years ago and visiting vineyards and wineries that Michelle realised she wasn’t happy in her job and wanted to look for a new challenge.

And it was ultimately her love of wine and her hunger to learn more about the whole industry from start to finish that led to her new career and the birth of
The Gilded Grape.

Having completed an intensive WSET wine course and passed with Merit, Michelle threw herself into the launch of the business and the chance to share her knowledge with wine lovers while at the same time sourcing some of the most unusual and sought-after wines for people to buy.

She added: “As we deal with wine merchants who have close relationships with vineyards from around the world, we are constantly building up our stock with some of the most exciting labels on the market and some you’ll be hard pressed to find locally anywhere else.”

As well as the tasting evenings, Michelle is looking to hold regular wine seminars and social nights where like-minded wine lovers can pull up a chair and enjoy a tipple or two of their favourite vino.

Michelle, who also stocks natural, low intervention and vegan wines added: “My vision was always to create a wine hub where people could come and buy their wine but also come and sit in a cosy setting; enjoy some locally sourced food and fully immerse themselves in the wine culture.”

For a girl who’s glass is always half full, we raise ours to Michelle and The Gilded Grape.

18 Leeds Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8DJ
T: 07597 379 646

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