Richard Tanner: 1938-2014

8th January, 2014 by Gabriel Stone

Richard Tanner, who built his family firm into one of the UK’s most distinguished wine merchants, has died aged 75.

ARTBorn in Shrewsbury in 1938, Richard joined the wine trade straight from school in 1956, working in both London and France.

Recalling these early days, he once said: “I borrowed an old van from my father and we picked grapes at Bourg and at Château Palmer. Madame Bollinger gave us a super lunch at Aÿ and helped to push-start the van afterwards.”

Having commissioned into the 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Goorkhas, Richard spent his national service from 1958-9 with the 2nd Battalion in Singapore and on active service in Johore, Malaya. He remained a lifelong supporter of the Gurkhas.

In 1959, he joined the family business, Tanners Wine Merchants, becoming director in charge of wine, shipping, bottling and sales the following year.

He later held the posts of managing director and chairman of Tanners, as well as director of the Merchant Vintners’ buying consortium.

During his time at the helm, Tanners expanded from its existing Shrewsbury, Welshpool and Bridgnorth bases to take over Hereford merchant William Pulling & Co. Richard also launched the Tanners Claret own label in 1973, sourced from the Sichel family who had supplied the merchant since the 1890s.

As the concept of national mail order began to take off in the 1970s, Richard ensured Tanners was at the vanguard, introducing this expanding customer base to wines from the Rhône, Loire, southern France and Spain, as well as domaine-bottled Burgundies.

Outside the wine business, Richard was a keen countryman, naturalist and Master of Foxhounds, who held the post of High Sheriff of Shropshire in 2006.

He died on New Year’s Day 2014 as a result of Parkinson’s Disease and is survived by his widow Marion, daughter Lucy and son James, who has been managing director of Tanners Wines since 2006 and joint managing director with Richard Hayden since 1994.

 

One Response to “Richard Tanner: 1938-2014”

  1. I did my apprenticeship in the wine trade with Richard Tanner in 1956. We spent 6 months at Brown, Gore & Welch in Seething Lane, near the Tower of London. Richard was quiet, but with a wry sense of humour. I will remember him as one of the gentlemen of the Wine Trade. Lawrence Page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more