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.
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.
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, 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.
Tilley's Wines Founder, Ivor Tilley, with Hugh Hamilton Founder, Hugh Hamilton.
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.