Top 17 richest Brits in drinks

Based on the recently published Sunday Times Rich List, profiling the wealthiest people based in the UK, we count down those that have made their fortune from the drinks industry.

17. Tony and Barbara Laithwaite

Position 2019: 726

Position 2018: 722

Worth: £163m

Rise/Fall: +£1m

Sources: Wine

Laithwaites Wine was 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.

At last year’s Drinks Business Awards, Tony Laithwaite was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his half-century commitment to the wine industry.

Read the full profile here.

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