Tom attempts ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth’

Can someone from the relaxed atmosphere of a wine shop, more used to nice hot dinners and a glass of wine in the evening, run 156 miles through the Sahara Desert? That’s exactly what Tom Jones from The Whalley Wine Shop is attempting when he tackles the infamous Marathon des Sables known notoriously as “The toughest footrace on Earth”.

Tom in training on the beaches of South Wales
Tom in training on the beaches of South Wales

On April 3rd Tom travels to Southern Morocco to compete in the ‘Marathon of the Sands’ –  the equivalent of six marathons in just six days. The longest single stage of this “ultra marathon” is a gruelling 80km which involves most competitors running non stop for over 16 hours.

Tom, 29, an ex Clitheroe Grammar student who hails from Ribchester but now lives in Clayton Le Moors with his partner Jen, and owns the award winning Whalley Wine Shop, has never run a marathon before. Tom explained “This is my first long distance run of any description, and I’ve gone for one of the most difficult races that exists. It’s not one marathon, it’s six, it’s on consecutive days, it’s in the Sahara desert running on sand dunes and it’s in 50 degree heat.”  On top of that it is a ‘self sufficient’ marathon which means runners have to carry all their food, clothing, equipment and sleeping gear on their backs in a rucksack weighing about 10kg”.

Tom is running the race with long time school friend Adam Evans originally from Mellor. “We start running on the 5th of April and finish on the 10th. It is by far the hardest physical thing I have ever done or am likely to do. This year is also the races 30th anniversary as it started in 1985, sort of fitting as its my 30th birthday this year too. If we needed any more inspiration we have found out that Sir Ranulph Fiennes the greatest living explorer is also doing the race with us this year!”

“A lot of customers and friends have asked why I am doing the run and I suppose the answer is that it’s the complete opposite of what my normal life is like! I enjoy fine dining, fine wines and lovely cheese, not rehydrated food and running through the desert! I wanted to change my lifestyle, lose some weight and hopefully raise a lot of money for charity.”

Tom is hoping to raise £3000 in sponsorship. All money donated will go directly to charity being split between Cancer Research UK and PHAB Whalley – a local group of volunteers helping handicapped children in Whalley. Money will also be donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust in memory of Tom’s Grandfather Major John Woodhouse who died last November and greatly respected the Gurkha regiment. Should you want to support Tom and his charities please check out his just giving page at or text 70070 and put TMDS85 and the amount of your donation. Thank you.

Todays Newsletter to our Customers – The Jurassic Park edition!

The star of Jurassic Park visited The Whalley Wine Shop!

Sam Neill, star of Jurassic Park, visited The Whalley Wine Shop

As we approach the end of our fifth year, we are continually amazed by the support of our customers. And we have such a lot of real characters come into the shop it makes every day interesting and varied. But a while back we had one of those ‘I’ve seen you somewhere before’ moments when a gentleman introduced himself as a new wine producer from New Zealand. It was none other than Sam Neill, the star of Jurassic Park! A true Hollywood Superstar with Golden Globe and Emmy nominations! Sam owns and runs the Two Paddocks vineyards in the south of New Zealand where he grew up. And we are delighted to have his First Paddock Pinot Noir in stock and available for you to taste ‘By The Glass’.

By The Glass
In our By the Glass sampling machine during March we are focussing on the wines of New Zealand, featuring wines from 3 vineyards…. The Man o War vineyard on Waiheke Island, the Mahi Wine vineyards in Marlborough as well as Sam’s Two Paddocks vineyard in Central Otago.

From Man o War you can taste their interestingly named GRAVESTONE Sauvignon/Semillon, the EXILED Pinot Gris, the IRONCLAD Bordeaux Red blend and the DREADNOUGHT Syrah

From Mahi in Marlborough, their Twin Valleys Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay and the Ward Farm Pinot Noir. And do come in and try  Sam Neill’s  First Paddock Pinot Noir. (I still break out in a cold sweat thinking about those Velociraptors, never mind that giant T. Rex!!)

Special Offers
If you are a fan of the Mahi wines then you might be interested in our two new Special Offers.

Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, normally £14.99 now only £11.99. Save £3
Mahi Marlborough Pinot Noir, normally £19.99 now only £16.99. Save £3

These are a fantastic pair of high quality wines from one of the most respected winemakers in New Zealand. Brian Bicknall is a true pioneer in Marlborough wine making, incorporating minimal intervention winemaking and organic farming to make vibrant, fresh wines with beautiful pure fruit.  Really good wines.

There are even bigger savings on another new special offer. The Calomel and Joseph Vieux Carignan normally £12.99 is now only £8.99. Save £4.

Jerome Joseph is a hugely talented winemaker based in the South of France sourcing grapes from old high quality vineyard sites and making modern and polished wines. This is from a single plot of 120+ year old wines and is a brilliant combination of dark bright fruit with dense savoury meaty notes creating a rustic style.
House Pours in March
If you fancy a glass of wine if you’re out and about in Whalley, well we always have some of our favourite wines open at just £2.50 or £3 a glass. At the moment you can enjoy…
Foundation Stone, a Chenin Blanc blend from South Africa.
Domaine Gerovassiliou’s Malagousia from Greece, this will surprise you!
The delicious Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay from California
Foundation Stone Shiraz Rose from South Africa
Jean luc Colombo’s Les Pins Rose from France
Foundation Stone Shiraz Blend from South Africa
Bergon Prestige Cabernet Franc/Mourvèdre from France
Prunotto Barbera d’Asti from Italy

Wines of Chile Mixed Case of 6

We have a handful of of our Chilean Discovery 6 bottle mixed cases still available normally £53.94 we are selling this case for just £44.99 a saving of over 15%! Grab one to enjoy over the weekend.

Porta Chardonnay – 2014 – Central Valley – 12.5%
Carmen Sauvignon Blanc – 2014 – Casablanca – 13.5%
Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc – 2013 – Casablanca – 13%
Porta Carmenere – 2013 – Central Valley – 13%
Carmen Reserva Merlot – 2013 – Colchagua – 13.5%
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon – 2011 – Colchaugua – 14%

Craft Beers

And for Fans of Craft Beers, we are also expecting a new shipment of quality Craft Beers anytime including superb new beers from:
Weird Beard Brewery, Off Beat brewery, Tickety Brew, Beavertown Brewery, Thornbridge Brewery, along with our normal selection of fantastic Lancashire and Yorkshire based Real Ales.

Do call in and say hello!


The Team at The Whalley Wine Shop.

Fine Wine Merchant


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