About Us

The Wine Merchant Mission Statement

Features of our original business plan formulated 30 years ago in 1981 continue to be the basis for our operation and will not change. They include:

  • Developing a personal relationship with customers based on trust, honesty, and education. This is our work ethic in all aspects of our business and are very important in attracting and keeping customers. Compare our service to that of the big box stores and supermarkets to experience the great differences.
  • Helping people learn about wine. It was one of the main reasons we started our first store and without a doubt is one of the main reasons for our success. Few if any other wine stores in the area put the emphasis we do on education through our courses, seminars, tastings, food and wine pairing events, internet features and most importantly the help provided in the store.
  • Providing exciting wines of complexity and individuality in a wide range of prices, styles and wine growing regions. This often means retailing small quantities from small estates that make wines in a hands on-artisanal way.
  • Offering wines at the BEST QUALITY/PRICE COMBINATION at nationally competitive prices. Finding such wines requires considerable experience and effort, especially for wines in the lower price ranges.


bud saylor owner
  • Bud Saylor
  • Owner
  • A pioneer in wine education in the Triangle Area since 1975. To promote more enjoyable wine experiences taught seminars and classes ranging from Introductory to Advanced Courses. A member of the Society of Wine Educators for 18 years; during that time traveled extensively to the vineyards and wineries throughout the US. Achieved the distinguished rank of "Master Knight" in the North Carolina chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, an exclusive international wine society.

kurt saylor manager
  • Kurt Saylor
  • Senior Manager
  • In 1994 Worked at Deloach Winery in California to gain a better understanding of wines and the wine industry. During that period , experienced all phase of wine making from harvest to bottle. With a more complete understanding and respect for wine, returned to the family business and became a manager in 1996. Has traveled extensively in the wine country of California and periodically in Europe. Continues to conduct classes and tastings and consults in all phases of wine appreciation.

justin gregg asst
  • Justin Gregg
  • Manager
  • Spent 14 years in the restaurant business in Wilmington and Raleigh in various positions including manager. Interest in wine and food started during this period and has increased significantly, especially in the area of food and wine pairing. Began working at The Wine Merchant in 2008.