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Tony Laithwaite and the history of Direct Wines

This show was published 10 March 2011


Direct Wines is a family business headed up by Tony Laithwaite and his wife Barbara. Its brands include Laithwaites, The Sunday Times Wine Club and Virgin Wines. Globally they have 1 million active customers and turnover £350 million. Tony tells us how it all began in 1969 while he was studying in France and established Bordeaux Direct, bringing French wine to the UK in a white van! His business grew rapidly after 1972 when, having opened a premises in Windsor, he wrote a letter to The Sunday Times that was to completely turn his fortunes around.


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The UK Wine Show is sponsored by ThirtyFifty. Our team of wine tasters are busy entertaining and educating UK consumers to help them get the most out of wine.


The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

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