WHEN, WHO and WHAT we do
Founded in 1985, Tilley’s Wines is an independent, family business led by Ivor Tilley and his daughter Annabelle and their team in the village of Wollaston, Northamptonshire.
Today, Tilley’s Wines is recognised as a leading importer of characterful wines from South Australia, namely McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley. Today we also specialise in wines from small, independent winemakers and are particularly strong on wines from Italy as well as discovering hidden gems from France and Spain in our growing portfolio.
We pride ourselves on our friendly, helpful service and down-to-earth advice. We try and go those extra miles from personally delivering our wines where possible to hand-writing personal gift cards and messages with our orders.
Our wines are sold by the 12 bottle case (mixed cases very welcome). Please don’t be fooled by these headline grabbing rates of “free delivery and no minimum order” that some online retailers promote – delivery costs money, and they will be making it back by overcharging you for the wine! However, we can offer free local delivery for local postcodes and a full sale or return party service is available (because we all love a good knees up but not always know how much to order).
We are always on the lookout to add exciting, undiscovered wineries to our hand-picked portfolio so please contact us if you think there’s a wine we should know about.
QUALITY AND VALUE
Our wines are typically from small, family-run vineyards that really care about winemaking and share our values: high quality and great value for money. The winemakers only grow small parcels of fruit which they dedicate meticulous attention-to-detail and carry out many processes by hand to produce interesting and importantly very drinkable wines.
You will never find our wines on the shelves of high-street chains or supermarkets and nearly all of our wines are exclusive in the UK to Tilley’s Wines. Where possible we import our wines direct from the producer (avoiding paying middlemen) which allows us to offer good value wines and a competitive service to our customers as well as exclusive access to some great and hard-to-find wines. Wines prices in the UK have shot up with the weaker pound which we can offset by trading in Euros and Australian dollars (thanks to our other business, NPS Shoes Ltd – see below). That’s not to mention the UK getting clobbered with rising alcohol duty on wine (up 50% since 2008) and importer taxes (up 40% in the last five years). By importing the wines where we can ourselves, and using our own warehouse in Wollaston where all wines are duty-paid, we are able to offer our customers unbeatable value.
BACKGROUND: HOW TILLEY’S WINES STARTED
As background, Ivor has not always been involved in wine (though has always enjoyed drinking it!); he has a long history in the leather and footwear trade for which the village he lives, Wollaston, is famous and where he also owns one of the few remaining English shoe factories, NPS (Shoes) Ltd. His connection with South Australia however is through his wife Jennie, whose family all reside in McLaren Vale including his brother-in-law, Mauri Reilly, who looks after operations locally. And as a result the family have been lucky enough to visit the area at Christmas for the past 30 years.
Every Christmas, Ivor, never content on sitting still, splits his time between the golf course and sampling wines at local cellar doors. Over the years he developed close relationships with some the area’s winemakers and their families and was exposed to the stark difference between the high qualities of the wines he tasted in South Australia, compared to what he believed was affordable and accessible in the UK. And that’s where it all started: since launching the business nearly 30 years ago, the response from friends and clients looking for quality wines has been explosive.
It is no coincidence that Italy is another part of the world that Tilley’s Wines specialise. The world of wine and leather has overlapped on many occasions. From visiting tanneries in Tuscany and Veneto for nearly 50 years, grapevines are never far away!
Our enthusiasm and hard work has amounted to an impressive range of clients from private to trade customers, who all share the enthusiasm for unique wines soaked with character and complexity. Success in finding these great wines is also seen by the amount of serious wine press that has been generated: Decanter, James Halliday, Matthew Jukes, the Wine Spectator, Jancis Robinson to name but a few.
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Tilley’s Wines hope you enjoy the range we have to offer and would love to hear from you if you have any questions about the wines or if you think there’s something we should try.Contact Us