Old School Wines
Housed in a magnificently restored Victorian old school building in the small Staffordshire village of Tittensor, Old School Wines have been supplying customers across the UK with wines and spirits for the past two decades.
Owned and run by two generations of the Wilson family, this is a true family business where the attention is firmly focused on looking after their customers, many of who they have served for over 20 years.
The Old School House is not only a splendid retail store, with vaulted open cruck framed main room that towers above the multitude of wines and spirits but is also the base from which the Wilson’s run their significant outside events business.
They have become famous not just for the brilliance of their wine choices but have also been one of the leaders in the current Gin ‘craze’ via their sister company Gin Jamboree, which see’s them stocking around 200 types of Gin in their retail store. They also own and manage their own Gin brand: Old School Gin.
There’s nothing ‘old school’ about their approach to retailing either. They’ve sold online since 2002 and have happy customers in every town in the UK, supplied on a daily courier service. Single bottle gifts to multiple cases and pallet quantities are all seamlessly handled. They are also enthusiasts of social media.
Within their location they are also well known for their event management skills running bars and pop-up events across the country for more than 10 years.
Known by their customers as ‘the Tittensor Temple of Temptation’ this is a store where it is hard not to want to spend, and often spend far more than you’d planned to, because the knowledge and advice from all the staff about each and every product is absolutely fantastic.
This knowledge and expertise extend to their expert party and event planning. From how much wine to order to how many glasses you’ll need to even cover DJ’s, caterers and even marquee suppliers.
'Virtually born into the wine trade' (a line stolen from a Baron Philippe de Rothschild promotional video), Andrew's had an idyllic career and lives and breathes the business that he started 20 years ago. With a great palate and love of good wine, but more importantly an approachable manner in sharing his vast knowledge of the subject, Andrew is no stranger to the world of spirits either.
His ability to manage events with such success is put down to decades working alongside the hospitality industry as an ally to the wine trade. The hundreds and hundreds of events he has organised all share the same common thread of being done well and being done properly... the many ‘thank you’ cards that adorn his offices are a clear sign of how much this means to him.
It's a little known fact that he will have completed 40 years of continuous wine trade employment in 2019. Quite an achievement!
He believes he will never retire, as he says, why would he want to? Father of five, Grandfather of five, his constant companions are his three dogs Barbara, Dorothy and Millie.
A reluctant recruit to the business and the most unlikely member of the wine trade, Clare is the ‘chalk’ to Andrew’s ‘cheese’. They often describe themselves as ‘Jack Spratt and his wife’. However, you will never find a more successful wine sales person and business woman than Clare, who has been the ‘rock’ that has kept Old School Wines steady and allowed the company the freedom to diversify.
She is much loved by the customers of Old School Wines for her no-nonsense approach to recommendations and her open and warm approach to every customer. By her own admission she doesn’t care ‘which side of the river it came from’ or ‘what soil it grew on’ - her only recommendation is ‘will the customer like it?’ – and in that area she has an amazing skill and ability.
Clare is also renowned for her love of gift wrapping and demonstrates her creative flare with everything connected to the business. More recently she has been the driving force behind the Gin Jamboree venture and loves nothing more than converting others to the new wave of artisan Gins.
A lifelong vegetarian, but not because of a love of animals (especially Andrew’s dogs), Clare is a Lancashire lass through and through.
Joined Old School Wines in 2007 as a student, and just never left and is now an integral part of the Old School and Gin Jamboree teams. Perhaps best known for playing the part of Sebastian the Gin Fox in the various Gin Jamboree promotional videos and the Gin Hunter at the events.
He’s had his palate cultured from an early age and has a great taste in wines and is a keen enthusiast of Single Malt Whisky and craft beer.
He’s also renowned for his cool and calm approach to I.T. issues and his skills with logistical planning of both goods in and out and the Gin Jamboree’s.
Youngest son of the Wilson family, Jacques “Jaca” along with his girlfriend; Mackenzie, are the welcoming faces at our Gin Jamborees and most Old School Wines events.
Currently studying at Keele University he has yet to develop his taste in wine!