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The Laithwaites wine company began in 1969, originally called Bordeaux Direct, which imported an initial range of 5 wines, supplying an initial customer base of 150 people.
They quickly expanded their range by importing wines from other regions of France such as Bergerac, Duras, Cahors, Madiran, Gaillac, Minervois, Saint-Chinian and more, as well as introducing wines from outside France including the first Australian invaders in 1974.
Laithwaites buyers travel the world looking for high quality, small production wines which they can bring to the UK and make available to their 700,000 customers, and some of those producers are the descendants of those original Laithwaites suppliers.
At home, Laithwaites have a dedicated events team who run functions where they bring their customers together with producers, to taste and test their wines, discover more about wine and the way that it is made from the grape to the glass.
The Laithwaites customer service call centre provides an interface for customers to make enquiries about the company’s wines, as well as provide information about matching wines and food together.
This is a proper skill, and getting it right will improve both the enjoyment of the dish and the wine, whilst getting it wrong will ruin both, and the website also helps with matching.
The Laithwaites corporate sales team are account managers trained to be able to manage the wine needs of an organisation, both for trade customers and for companies who may run a promotional event and require wine and Champagne.
Laithwaites also have their own production facilities, including the Chateau La Clariere Laithwaite in the Cotes de Castillion which they purchased in 1979, and is available for customers to visit and see what goes on at the sharp end of wine making.
The company also own Le Chai au Quay in Bordeaux. This is a facility with a cellar which is perfect for maturing wine, and Laithwaites take some of their specially selected cases of wines here in order to age them and supervise their development until they are ready for sale to their customers.
In Australia, Laithwaites have the Red Heads studio, which is where they are able to let young winemakers come and use the facilities to design their own wines. The results are then brought across to the UK for Laithwaites customers.
Nowadays, as well as continuing to sell their wines directly through their wine clubs, online and via the call centre, Laithwaites have a network of 20 stores across the South East and Midlands of England which offer their customers direct, instant access to their wines. They also have regular tasting evenings where customers can try 8 of the premium wines and buy at a 10% discount.
Customers who don‘t live close enough to a store can also attend larger events which are held nationwide which are hosted by the events team.
At any of these functions, the hosts will explain to those attending about the wines, where they come from, how they are made and make it a fun and relaxed evening, as well as educational.
And for customers wanting to find out even more and get into the real depth of wine appreciation, the company offer WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) course - Level 1 Award in Wine QCF, Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits QCF and Level 3 Award in Wine and Spirits. These courses are regularly run at Laithwaites offices in Theale near Reading in Berkshire, and Gloucester and are globally recognised qualifications.
The company website also features a blog which is regularly updated and carries interesting information about wine generally, some tips on food matching and news of events that Laithwaites are either running themselves or sponsoring, which is something they do regularly with events such as the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Henley Literary Festival, Classic FM Live and the Cowes Week Regatta among many others.
The blog also occasionally carries accounts of buyer’s visits to vineyards and what they find there, and advance reporting on the wines likely to be in the Laithwaites range in future.
Laithwaites wine ranges are constantly changing. They offer many different mixed cases created for the season, styles, selections of reds or whites, sometimes of particular grape varieties from around the world, or different wines from particular countries.
They also selections of British and foreign beers, ciders and spirits and a wide range of Champagnes and other sparkling wines.
All of Laithwaites wines are fully guaranteed for the customer's complete satisfaction, so if the customer isn’t completely happy with a wine that they have ordered, it can be replaced or refunded.
Shopping terms and conditions
When purchasing goods from Laithwaites, you're agreeing to several terms and conditions. Because you're buying alcohol, the same rules apply as if you were buying it over a shop counter. It is strictly forbidden to buy or attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18 years old. It is also illegal to buy alcohol for others who may be under 18 years old.
Upon delivery of your order, the courier may wish to see identification if he/or she is doubt of the recipient's age. If the appropriate ID is not provided, the courier cannot leave the alcohol with you.
Opening Hours and Contact Information
Mon - Fri: 10am to 7pm
Thu: 10am to 8pm
Sat: 10am to 6pm
Sun: 10am to 4pm
Call Centre Contact Number
Tel: 03330 148 198
Fax: 03330 148 216
Phone lines opening hours
Weekdays: 8:30am - 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 8:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Bank Holidays: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Laithwaites Wine Customer Services,
New Aquitaine House,
Company Registration Information
Registered Number 03840874
Head Office Address
New Aquitaine House,