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The Interview: Chris Connolly, managing director, Connolly's (Wine Merchants) Ltd

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tucked under a railway arch beneath Snowhill station is a rare gem, Birmingham's only independent retail wine specialist. The Connolly family have been involved in the wine trade for over four generations, but the current business was established by Pat Connolly in 1976. Chris, then training as an estate agent, joined his father in 1979, simply to provide cover. Now 47, he has succeeded his father as managing director, and last year Connolly's celebrated its 30th anniversary.

For the most part, the wine trade has given me a great life. There are of course low points and frustration, but tasting wine at the cellars of Michel Lafarge and the late Philippe Engel in Burgundy is close to an earthly paradise. Yes, I still have the passion.