The Vintner: The Story Of Wine List Curation

Press Release

The Vintner: The Story Of Wine List Curation

“We curate our wine list as if it’s our own personal wine collection: our dream selection of wines in our rack to match every occasion.”

Tom Gilbey, Owner & Founder, The Vintner

For Tom Gilbey, who founded The Vintner in 2010, his dream wine list is a concise collection of 100 wines that are at their peak of drinking perfection now.

Tom and his team have, over the years, curated an exclusive portfolio of producers around the world whose wines fit The Vintner bill.  “We want to do the hard work for our customers, which is why we say we curate our range,” explains Tom.  “A list of 100 wines is large enough to represent every area we would like to be drinking from, and manageable enough for us to taste the wines regularly to ensure they are drinking brilliantly while we list them.  That’s The Vintner promise.”

The Vintner’s new Spring Summer 2016 collection, launching next month, coincides with a revamped online presence for the merchant - with full online ordering facility - and a move for the company to a new West London base, complete with bespoke tasting room for up to 40 people.  Several producers and wines from The Vintner archives feature on the new list - including the Julien Collovray St Véran - as well as a number of new finds, such as a Barbera d’Alba from Claudio Viberti.

Managing Director Julia Beran, who has been with The Vintner since the beginning says, “We want to make buying wine for drinking now easy and straightforward.  We ensure that each and every wine we list not only offers great value for its price, but is also a fabulous example of how a wine from that place should taste.  If we think something isn’t up to scratch, we replace it with something that is.”

“Our list has definitely evolved over the last five years,” adds Buyer Gavin Smith, who has worked with Tom since 2011.  “We’re listing more European wines than ever before, particularly from Italy and Spain, and we’re seeing increasing favour for wines with less residual sugar and lower alcohol levels: wines that exhibit a sense of place and identity.”

The new Vintner Spring Summer Wine List will be available from www.thevintner.com from 21st March 2016.


The Gilbeys & Wine

If you think you recognise the name ‘Gilbey’ in connection with wine, you probably do... Tom’s great great grandfather was Alfred Gilbey who, with his brother Walter, set up W&A Gilbey Wine Merchants in London in 1857, and Tom’s grandfather was Chairman of the company.

In 1962 Gilbeys merged with United Wine Traders to create IDV and in 1972 merged with Watneys. It was then taken over by Grand Metropolitan that same year.

Tom himself was born above Gilbeys Wine Bar in Eton, which was started by his father and uncle in 1972 before they went on to open second and third branches in Amersham and Ealing.  “Eaton and Amersham are still going today as ‘Gilbeys’,” says Tom.  “My dad was the chef, my mum front of house, my aunt did the hiring and firing and my uncle the adding up.  They shipped and listed their own wines right from the beginning... I think I was ill-qualified to do anything else.”


A Vintner Classic For You To Try....

St Véran, Julien Collovray 2013 - RRP £16.95, thevintner.com

Tom says:

“This wine has been on our list from the very start and is still in our collection because we feel it is simply the best St Véran out there on the market.  We blind taste our wines against alternatives from different producers in the region, and time and time again this one always comes out on top.

“Julien Collovray is a producer that fits very much into what we believe in at The Vintner: it is a family-owned and run winery, and every member of the family is involved in some aspect.  Our team works closely with their team on each vintage - including label design - and they can often be found at our offices holding tastings with clients and staff. 

“We feel Julien’s wines are really drinking at their best after two to three years in bottle so the 2013 is in the prime of its life: it will drink for another three to four years more, but is right in the middle of its drinking window now.”

Julia adds:

“A St Véran offers Consumers a taste of Burgundy at an affordable price:  it has a slightly warmer climate than further north in the Côte de Beaune, and therefore makes riper, rounder Chardonnay.  In places, such as where Julien grows his grapes, the terroir is very similar to that of the region’s Pouilly Fuissé neighbour and so has the same mineral depth on the palate... but without the Pouilly Fuissé price tag.”


And A Vintner Debut...

Barbera d’Alba ‘Bricco Airoli’ Viberti 2011, Piedmont - RRP £16.95, thevintner.com

Tom says:

“Often we take ourselves off to the remote wine regions of the world and every now and then we are lucky enough to stumble on some truly talented individuals whose wines have ‘The Vintner’ written all over them… literally! 

“Claudio Viberti is one of them - a young, up-and-coming winemaker who is already something of a celebrated producer in the region.  His production is very small, and his focus is on quality - they are not the cheapest wines, but the quality you get for the price makes them undoubtedly a bargain.

“Again, this is a Vintner wine because it is a small, independent producer, obsessed with perfection, producing fantastic quality wine at a fair price.”

Gavin adds...

“From the very established winemaking region of Piedmont, Claudio is using a mixture of tradition and modernity to produce wines that are long ageing, but at the same time ready to drink relatively young.  With five years bottle age, this Barbera still has tonnes of primary fruit and loads of concentration - perfect for drinking now.”

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Date of issue: 9 March 2016

Further information:  emma wellings pr:  t 020 8996 5168  e alison@ew-pr.co.uk