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About Us

We’ve been a family-owned wine seller for over 50 years. Discover the Laithwaites story, who we are and what we do..


SHARING GREAT WINE IS AT THE HEART OF WHO WE ARE

Have you ever discovered something so exciting that you wanted to share it – straightaway – with friends and family? That happened to Tony Laithwaite in 1969, on a university Geography trip to Bordeaux. Sent to dig up Roman ruins, he found something far more interesting … ‘real’ wine and the people who make it. 

Soon Tony landed a job – washing bottles at a winery in Saint-Émilion – surrounded by people obsessed with “qualité, qualité, qualité”. They were making the sorts of authentic wines you couldn’t find in Britain without paying a small fortune … at wineries you could actually visit in your car. No murky supply chains or funny business.

FROM BORDEAUX TO BOLTON … & BEYOND

Soon friends and neighbours were asking Tony to bring these wines home to the UK. So, with some help from his nan, he hired a van to collect some special bottles and delivered them in person. These real wines had stories that customers loved hearing. And even a beginner could taste that they were better. He sold out. Again and again.

Things went so well that Tony ventured across France, then Spain, Italy and beyond, on the hunt for amazing wines. “Take the lot in one go,” winemakers would say, “and we can match the prices of the mass brands”. Winemakers loved getting close to wine drinkers and having their stories shared. No middlemen, no money wasted on expensive marketing … just more time to make great wine.

WHAT MAKES LAITHWAITES SPECIAL?

50 years later, we are still family-owned and still work in a very similar way. The change? Today we have a larger family of winemakers (454 at last count), 400,000 lovely customers and a few more vans!

It’s all thanks to a commitment to stop at nothing to bring you amazing wine … and a few key principles:

- We still prefer to go direct to the smaller, family-run wineries.

- Our talented Buyers taste 40,000 bottles a year to bring customers the best.

- Each year just 800 or so wines make the grade – judged for quality, value and character.

- We are committed to leading the way by becoming more sustainable in all areas of our business.

If you’ve got a wine-related question, no matter how big or small, you can always call our Personal Wine Advisors Team. Speak to them direct on 03330 148 191 or click ‘Chat with Vinny’ on the website.

LATEST ARTICLES

Winemaker of the month

Tony's Diary

February 19, 2023

News articles

Decanter's Green Champion of the Year 2023!

September 26, 2023

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