Howard Ripley began importing wines as a hobby in 1983 while practising as a dentist in London. Initially he sold only to a few friends, but soon found that friends of friends contacted him asking to buy. A few years later he approached a top Michelin-starred restaurant with his, by now, large list of classic burgundies from many of the best domaines. To his delight and somewhat to his amazement, both he and his wines were enthusiastically received.
Over the years the business slowly grew, to the extent that the company now imports one of the largest selections of top domaines available in the UK and carries an unbeatable backlist of vintages from the region’s leading growers. In 2000, as Howard gradually moved into retirement, Sebastian Thomas joined the business. He brought a love of German wines and the company has now assembled what is widely recognised as the largest and best list of fine German wines in the UK. In 2018, we launched our Italian portfolio made up of a select number of fine estates from Northern Italy.
Sebastian is joined in the office by Oli Burton, Nancy Green and Emily Jackson and our trade team Adrian Burns and Ziggy Grinbergs.
What we do
We import fine wines from Burgundy, Germany, and Northern Italy, mainly from small, family-run estates. These estates run the gamut from the most recognised names in the wine business to unknown estates that we think deserve recognition. We taste every wine that we offer, and we aim to cultivate long relationships with every grower in our portfolio.
We sell retail directly, through our website and phone orders, and also sell to restaurants, wine bars, and wine shops on our trade side.