Oakley Wine Agencies has been trading in its current form since 1990. We provide an 'export office' service for several wineries in Portugal and Northwest Spain. We even reach as far as South America, with two Brazilian partners.
Our initial, and still a significant, area of activity is sourcing wines and creating brands when necessary, for the major multiples. We count almost all of of the UK multiple supermarkets as clients as well as the specialist wine shop chains and the online/ mail order sellers. We also work with distribution partners in the Republic of Ireland - www.classicdrinks.ie. and in Norway - www.symposiumwines.no For many years our entire activity had been restricted to Ex Cellar supply.
Recognising that shipping direct from Portugal is beyond the capacity of smaller and medium sized merchants, we took the decision in 2008 to take a step closer to the marketplace by having vineyard stock available in the UK, for purchase by wine merchants, in 20 case minimum lots, Under Bond.
We do not intend to go any deeper in to the market, and have a very deliberate policy of not supplying wine in smaller lots DPD, or retail, as to do so would be to compete with our client.
We also understand the importance of maintaining separate portfolios for the multiples and the independents, although some times there may be some limited crossover.
We are a small team, just four of us, Nick & Jane Oakley, daughter Charlotte, and Andy Gill. We work out of a converted granary on Colchester's river Colne. Nick has been in the wine trade for 30 years, starting firstly with wine merchants Lay & Wheeler in Colchester. Having left and established his own business as a general wholesaler he fell into specialising in Portuguese wine after a 'road to Damascus' conversion following a visit there in the late 80s. Jane joined the company seven years ago after many years in office administration and has knocked a previously disorganised office into top shape. In the words of Terry Wogan 'behind every successful man is a good woman working him with her foot' Never a truer word spoken. Charlotte joined us in the business in early 2011, having worked in industry for the previous couple of years. She is an honours graduate from Sunderland University and her course incuded a year in Adelaide studying wine tourism, amongst other things.
Andy Gill is our self-styled 'boy', and helps in the business as and when required on a voluntary basis. Ask him about wine and he can talk the hind legs off a donkey if you give him a chance! He is a very good judge of a wine having been a panel judge at the International Wine Challenge for several years, one of very few from outside the trade to be invited to be so (he is a retired telecoms engineer). He is a very welcome addition to our small team