A brief history of AW Wines

1998

Andrew Wilson leaves Bass PLC where he had been Commercial Manager of their French company Château Lascombes for five years to launch Andrew Wilson Wines (AWW), a UK wine import agency supplying major retailers and the Duty Free sector.

1999

AW Wines take on further prestige agencies for the UK and Andrew travels a lot seeking out new agencies and suppliers and also customers all across the UK.

2000

Clare joins the business after a successful career in sales. Having sold everything from from cars to hair rollers – wine should be no problem! They start a small ‘friends and family’ mail order wine service, just for fun...

2001

Business expands and mail orders grow by the day. As more and more friends buy wine, Andrew and Clare host their first private clients wine tasting sessions in Birmingham.

2002

Andrew is spending more and more time abroad handling the agency business, which is great as he finds lots of ‘ace’ parcels of wine along the way. Private sales double in a year.

2003

​AW Wines is incorporated into a Private Limited Company. Andrew and Clare are the sole directors (to this day). AW Wines takes on its first salesman, quickly followed by another...

2004

AW Wines’s agency business starts to decline (another story) but the mail order business continues to grow. The company launches its first website and starts trading online. Andrew and Clare seriously consider moving to France...

2005

​The decision is taken to move further into consumer retailing and the Old School House, Tittensor is taken on as a new base for AW Wines (instead of moving to France). This also incorporates face-to-face consumer retailing. Old School Wines is born!

2006

Old School Wines grows rapidly as a retail shop and as a strong presence in North Staffordshire is established, shop staff are now needed. Lots and lots of tastings are organised including one held in hot tubs!

2007

​Old School launches a full e-commerce website to further improve their presence online. Online retail trade grows rapidly. Agency sales are closed down. New shop staff are recruited... the wheel keeps turning!

2008

​Old School’s retail sales grows further and exhibits at its first food and drink festival and runs a series of outside events, wine maker dinners in order to further attract new customers. Online continues to grow. Joshua Wilson (son) joins the business.

2009

Old School embark upon an ambitious series of weekly wine tasting evenings at the Old School House plus similar outside events. Old school host their first outside function and take the decision to go after more outside function trade and weddings and functions become part of the services offered. Ben Jones joins the business (for the first time).

2010

As the credit crunch bites AW Wines diversify into outside events with more weddings and more outside functions than ever before, but Old School Wines remains at the beating heart.

2011

AW Wines is awarded the contract for Chillington Hall, Brewood as sole supplier of drinks service and weddings management for this stately home wedding venue. Andrew spend most of his time at weddings, more staff are recruited and huge amounts of glassware, bar kit and equipment are bought to cope with demand.

2012

Weddings, weddings and more weddings. When Andrew’s not running a wedding he’s either preparing or hosting a party or corporate event. This fuels an idea for a 40 foot cocktail bar at Stone Food & Drink Festival, which is a smash hit.

2013

More weddings, more events including the first event held at Sugnall Walled Garden – a Gin and Tonic tasting (revolutionary at the time). A joint venture with The Lewis Partnership with their first ‘pop-up’ restaurant and piano bar at Stone Food & Drink festival. Old School commission a new version of their e-commerce website as signs of the recession weaken.

2014

AW Wines wins the catering and bars contract for Europe's largest outdoor Shakespeare production held at Stafford Castle. More than 50 weddings and outside events take place including the Rioja Ball at Sugnall Walled Garden for Donna Louise Trust. Ben Jones joins (for the second time). Old School host their first mobile Gin Bar event.

2015

Andrew perfects the mobile Gin bar idea and Gin Jamboree is born! AW Wines acquires the business of Sugnall Walled Garden and begins a 10 year project to develop the hospitality, catering and function business at this beautiful venue. Andrew spends most of his time in the garden now!

Our brands

Opened over a decade ago, the beautiful Old School House building at Tittensor is the home to AW Wines retail, wholesale and on-line business. Known as ‘the Tittensor Temple of Temptation’ it boasts an impressive collection of ‘hand-picked’ wines, spirits, gifts and craft beers.

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This magnificently restored Edwardian walled garden dating back to 1737 is home to AW Wines wedding, event and catering business. It is also the venue for their Appreciation Days ‘experience’ courses and all kinds of activities during the year from rare plant sales to their annual Jazz & Blues Festival.

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This rapidly expanding phenomenon sees AW Wines travel the length and breadth of the country promoting the ‘new-wave’ of artisan Gins in a cool, fun, festival style event. From small beginnings a few years ago, these Jamboree’s attract hundreds of visitors and usually sell out in a matter of days.

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© AW Wines Ltd Registered Office: Little Acre, Hall Lane, Cotes Heath, Nr Eccleshall, ST21 6RT