Direct Wines Profile

The international wine merchant is the world’s largest mail-order wine retailer, with operations in the UK, France, US and Australia. The group specialises in the production and sale of wine – and owns several vineyards around the world – though it also moonlights as an independent whisky bottler.

Its First Cask series of single cask whiskies are all bottled at 46% abv from a variety of distilleries (some of which are unidentified), for its customers to order by the mixed case. The whiskies are provided by Signatory and have been numerous over the years with the total number of casks bottled being well over 500.

Direct Wines also produces the Old Harry 8-year-old blended malt whisky, which continues to bear the term ‘pure malt’ on the label despite its ban in 2009.

Direct Wines History

Tony Laithwaite established Bordeaux Direct (later renamed Laithwaite’s Wine) in 1969 as a means to sell his own estate-bottled wines in the UK.

Direct Wines was incorporated under the name Direct Wines (Windsor) Ltd in 1973, to manage the business (and later also Avery’s).

The group’s first whisky bottlings – a run of four casks of 1972 Balvenie – weren’t released until 1992. 


Direct Wines
New Aquitaine House, Exeter Way
United Kingdom
+44 118 903 0903

See also

  • Hatch Mansfield Hatch Mansfield Hatch Mansfield Own-label

    Hatch Mansfield

    A wine distribution company now based in Ascot.

  • Waitrose Waitrose Waitrose Own-label


    British supermarket chain with its own selection of Scotch whisky.

  • Leith Distillers Leith Distillers Leith Distillers Blender

    Leith Distillers

    Non-trading company that once owned the Glenallachie distillery in Moray.

  • James Martin & Company James Martin & Company James Martin & Company Blender

    James Martin & Company

    Producer of the James Martin blends, and now a subsidiary company of The Glenmorangie Co Ltd.

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