Top 10 richest Brits in drinks: 2017

10. Tony and Barbara Laithwaite

Position 2017: 694

Position 2016: 885

Worth: £160m

Rise/fall: +£50m

Sources:  Wine

The foundations of Laithwaites Wine were founded in 1969, when Tony Laithwaite bought a Ford van and started bringing back wine from Bordeaux to sell in the UK. This turned into Bordeaux Direct, a company whose focus gradually expanded across France and later to Rioja, Bulgaria and Australia.

Nearly half a century on he remains owner of this business, now called Laithwaites Wine, which retains the original direct sourcing ethos from the early days. The company is now part of Direct Wines, a mail order group wholly owned by the Laithwaite family with franchise or distribution agreements in continental Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.

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