The Antique Wine Company is a privately owned wine sourcing company. It was founded in London, England by Stephen Williams in 1982. The stock in trade of the Antique Wine Company is finding the best wines in the world and providing it to their customers. They also wine cellar planning and offer private wine master classes. The AWC is celebrated by true wine lovers because of their record breaking collection of fine and rare wines. In its cellars the company has more than 10,000 bottles of the finest vintages in the world.
Stephen Williams was an insurance salesman with a great love for wine. He held private tastings at people’s homes. A self-taught wine connoisseur, in 1982 Williams decided to pursue his passion for wine full time so he founded the Antique Wine Company. Today his cellars contain some of the world’s best vintages and he has over 45,000 customers in more than 100 countries. The 1912 cru Bordeaux Titanic’s director James Cameron used to celebrate the movie winning 11 Oscars was sourced by The Antique Wine Company.
One of Stephen Williams‘ most lucrative moves was creating the Grand Chateau Series. Working with Viscount David Linley, a renowned cabinet maker, The Antique Wine Company creates and markets handcrafted wine cabinets modeled on Bordeaux’s top nine chateaux. Each cabinet holds 18 bottles of wine from the corresponding estate. The cabinet modeled on Château d’Yquem contains 141 consecutive vintages. The earliest one is from 1868. That wine cabinet is valued at £1m. Each of the other chateaux has an asking price of £149,000.
The company gets its vintages from many sources. They purchase them directly from chateaux, at auction, and at estate sales. Although he’s highly skilled at judging the authenticity and quality of vintages, Williams uses cutting-edge scientific methods to date the wines and the bottles in which it’s held.
To his clients, many of whom want the wines both to drink and as an investment, authenticity is crucial. This is especially true when they pay The Antique Wine Company $1.5 million for a 135-year vertical collection as one client did in 2006, or £75,000 for a single bottle of white wine as another of Stephen Williams’ clients did in 2011. Yes, the young insurance salesman and self-taught wine connoisseur who held private wine tasting in homes all over London has come a long way.