John Booth senior (also a foundation member of the Durban Country Club) founded Monk & Booth Bottle Store just after World War 1 with other key relatives.
Monk & Booth was the very first walk-in bottle store in Durban, with all previous alcohol sales being conducted from behind a counter!
At that stage Natal Wine Merchants was a wholly owned subsidiary of Monk & Booth Bottle Store, (ergo our 'Monk' logo icon) and was originally established for bottling and wholesale distribution of white spirits, cane and vodka. During 1950 Natal Wine Merchants became a member of the Durban Chamber of Commerce.
On his death in 1955, his sons Brewer and Barry continued the business, started by their father. 1986 proved a very important year in the history of the company. The younger son of Barry, John Booth, joined the family business in that year. Brewer retired and the bottle store was sold. On the death of his father Barry, in 1993, John became the Managing Member of Natal Wine Merchants, a position he still holds today. Keeping to its long traditions, Natal Wine Merchants are still in their original premises on the Berea.
The company supplies a broad spectrum of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to the retail and licenced liquor trade. Until just a few years ago, KwaZulu-Natal was not really known as a province in which much wines was consumed. Natal Wine Merchants can proudly say that they played a major part in promoting the drinking of fine South African produced wines in KwaZulu-Natal. A pioneer in bringing wine drinking to Natalians, Natal Wine Merchants became the first distributor for many now well-known Cape Wine Estates and Wineries such as Simonsvlei, Backsberg, Swartland, Rustenberg, Simonsig, Overgaauw and Mooiuitzicht. Many of these historic wines are still distributed through Natal Wine Merchants, although the wine portfolio now includes a more comprehensive range.
The portfolio includes imported and local spirits, Fortified Wines, Spring Water, RTDSpirit Coolers, Cocktails, Cordials and many others. Originally the core customer base of Natal Wine Merchants was the Independent Bottle Store retail trade, but with on-going re-alignment of liquor laws, a strategic move was made to extend the company’s customer base to include the On-Consumption trade in its many forms in addition to selected top-end grocers. We pride ourselves on being able to provide service excellence due to flexibility and hands-on approach that a small dedicated family business can provide, and with a product portfolio covering many liquor categories.
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