History of Laithwaites

It all began in 1969 ...

As a student Tony Laithwaite spent his summers working in the Bordeaux vineyards – lugging the local wine home on the train for a few family friends. Then in 1969 he bought a Ford van in order to bring real wines - wines of authenticity and character and directly to customers in the UK.

Bordeaux Direct came first ...

Back then, Tony owned a wine shop called 'Bordeaux Direct.' The original business had just five wines on the list and only 150 customers. But slowly he began investigating vineyards further up the Dordogne ... and beyond.

In the 1970s we were the first merchants - of any nationality - to prospect and buy wine from the wine regions of southern France ... Bergerac, Duras, Cahors, Madiran, Gaillac, Minervois, Saint-Chinian and so on eastwards. Then came other countries: Rioja, Bulgarian Cabernet, Chile and Californian wines entered the wine range.

Onwards and upwards ...

Today ... over 40 years on, we're now called Laithwaites Wine and deliver wine to over 700,000 customers. We may be bigger, but we still go 'direct' in the same old way, and so keep costs down.

We have a huge network of supplier contacts, some now the grandchildren of those we started with. We still only do top-quality, small production wines from producers in every corner of the known wine world. We are still travelling, still searching out the real good wines.





Tony Laithwaite
Tony Laithwaite