Top 5 London wine merchants: The classics

Honourable mentions: Classic merchants based outside of London

While not based in London, we felt these stalwarts of wine retail deserved to be mentioned as classics in their own right.


Founded: 1842
Location: HQ in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, with two shops in Shrewsbury, and others in Chester, Bridgenorth, Hereford, Welshpool and Llandudno.
Turnover: 2019 £21.1m vs. £20.5m in 2018 (up 3.2%)

Tanners was founded in 1842 and remains family owned and “fiercely independent”. Tanners’ chairman, James Tanner, is the 4th generation of his family to run the business from its head office in Shrewsbury. Tanners currently stocks around 1,200 wines from 20 countries, 60% of which it sells to hotels, restaurants and pubs and 40% to private customers across the UK. It operates six retail branches and modern temperature-controlled warehouses in Welshpool and Llandudno, as well as an online shop.

Averys of Bristol

Founded: 1793
Location: Flagship shop in Culver Street, Bristol
Turnover: 2019 £12.9 vs. £12.4m in 2018 (up 4%)

With a history spanning 227 years, Averys is one of the oldest merchants in the UK, but its success really began with third generation Ronald Avery. Upon joining the business in 1923, he began travelling to wine estates during the 1920s to source wines direct, rather than taking the more common route of buying from an agent. Later, Ronald became one of the early champions of right-bank Bordeaux, listing Petrus and Cheval Blanc. Ronald son, John Avery, later continued this ethos, bringing both Californian, Australian and New Zealand wines to the fore of its selection. Today, Averys of Bristol is run under the guardianship of fifth generation, Mimi Avery, John’s daughter, selling wines from its historic vaulted cellar and shop in Culver Street, Bristol, as well as online.

One Response to “Top 5 London wine merchants: The classics”

  1. John Edwards says:

    Lea and Sandeman seems a glaring omission?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Subscribe to our newsletters