The first inkling that wine could be more than just an occasional pleasure, and perhaps the source of a serious life-long interest, came with a bottle of Cornas 'Domaine St Pierre' 1995 from Jaboulet, enjoyed just before I left home in Oxford for university in London: intense, brooding, earthy but still refined, it spoke of the small, rocky, sun-baked hillside vineyard from which it had come. 'Terroir', this sense of place, although much argued about, is something I've since learnt to recognise as the signature of genuinely good, and not necessarily expensive, wines; likewise the importance of winemakers who are both skilled and passionate.
By 2006, three years and many subsidised pints of London Pride later, I had a degree in Biology from Imperial College but little desire to enter a life of academia, nor pursue a more lucrative career in the City. On the advice of Michael Palij MW, after several conversations during a three week trek across the Tibetan plateau, I joined Oddbins in the Fulham Road to learn the ropes and have worked in the wine-trade ever since. I was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in 2011 and spent seven years working for two specialist independent wine shippers, moving to the beautiful High Weald of Kent in 2013.
After two years at The Secret Cellar, an award-winning retail merchant in Tunbridge Wells, the time came to realise a long-held ambition to set up on my own, selling direct to the public some of my favourite wines from producers I know personally and whose vineyards I've visited, and working with some of the UK's best specialist importers. There has never been a better time to discover wine, with greater breadth and quality available to us than ever before, so I hope you enjoy what we have to offer.