A VINTAGE retailer has plenty to cheer after again being named one of the finest merchants in the north.

D Byrne and Co have been recommending wines and spirits to loyal customers for more than 130 years.

And it was this pedigree which impressed the judges at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) Merchant Awards.

The vintners celebration is now in its 36th year and is recognised as the most rigorous test of a wine-seller's mettle.

Awarding their Northern England prize to D Byrne, an IWC spokesman said: "This independent fine wine merchant, based in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, scooped the prize in recognition of the business’ range of over 3,000 wines and the fantastic, friendly service that it provides to its customers.

"The Victorian shop, with its extensive cellars is still a family-run business which continues to be devoted to wine, four generations in."

Today the great-grandsons of the original Byrnes have stewardship of the King Street shop and its famed cellars.

The award is at least the seventh time the IWC has lauded the Lancashire outfit - twice before in 2011 and 2016 it has also scooped their small independent merchant of the year crown.

Other IWC prizes have noted their prowess in selling Champagne, Rhone wines and Australian vintages.