The inception of Cahn and Finlay took some time. Martin Cahnbley and I, Connal Finlay, have been wine industry friends for some time. We are colleagues in the NZ wine trade. Martin is an importer and distributor of wines for his company Planet Wine and I am an importer, retailer, and wine educator.
We have both worked as importers for a while, supporting each other's ventures. In mid 2018 we decided to go for it and open a shop. This started off as Connal's pop-up shop idea for the Christmas period but quickly morphed into the full on retail shop it now is.
We had months of creating dreams - elaborate shelving ideas, stairs, logos, company names and etc. Lots of fun was had, many laughs were had, and plenty of wine was consumed during this process.
About September 2018 we had found our venue in downtown Auckland - the only location we would entertain. We had negotiations and presentation meetings over five months with our landlords-to-be. We did not feel totally comfortable with the lop-sided relationship and started looking for another suitable location. Martin had spotted a large sign advertising a space in a character building in O'Connell Street. He called the landlord and, within a week, the new home was found.
Long story short, we cut our ties at the other potential venue and signed on up to our new home of 10 O'Connell Street. Previously a top-end men's suit tailor, now a fine wine shop.
July 2019 marked our opening. Almost a year after the initial seeds were sown.
May this be the beginning of something marvellous for wine lovers. A place for you to come by and browse our extensive collection wines and spirits from across the globe and to ask questions. In time, when our tasting room downstairs is up and running, we shall also be the home to wine tastings, dinners, and wine courses.