Tony Laithwaite - wine maker
Adding wine maker to his CV, changed the dynamics of the Laithwaite business for the better but wine making is not an over-night endeavour. It takes time to reap what you sow.
"It all started in 1980, we produced our first wine in 1984 and we've been producing ever since - La Clarière Laithwaite was the first." says Tony, clearing tasting his favourite tipple in his head and smiling,
"It’s my favourite wine. Of course my favourite wine is my own. If you’re a wine maker you have to love your own wine."
Testamont to the quality of Laithwaites wine produced in the Côtes de Castillon region, Château la Clarière Laithwaite 2006 retails at around £17.99 per bottle* - Jacques must be kicking himself.
"Having a vineyard changed the way the company worked." Tony explains, "It helped me a lot with the producers as they saw me as one of them.
"There was a lot more trust and lot more understanding and they would tell me the truth. And of course I knew the questions to ask.
La Clarière is yet another of his achievements that Tony deftly lays at another's feet.
"We began to realize that I wasn’t a very good winemaker but there was really good, top class wine makers who you could hire." He explains,
"They were Australian. Australia at the time was making a name for itself but they make their wine in March, so in October when you need them here, they’re available."
Image: Tony Laithwaite in his first shop
*When bought in a box of 12.