Tony’s Diary | 50 Chais au Quai

Panorama start

A hard week of solid rain and non-stop meetings back in the UK: the buyers presenting us with so much new stuff and us trying to work out how we can do it all justice. Then delighted, Friday, to hop on a plane to Bordeaux.

Tony & Barbara

Bit of a do on at Le Chai to celebrate the year’s production, so they wanted Barbara and I to turn up. Can’t argue.  A trip out of the rain?

Well … started well, but was raining Saturday morning! Bordeaux does usually get similar weather patterns to us. Just not as bad.

Anyway, all the wise old locals told us it had set in for the day. So … just got on with it. A lot of wines to try. A lot of customers to meet.  Loads of interesting characters. UK-based British, ex-pat local British, French, American, Canadian, Singaporean …

Full swing

When people visit Le Chai they just ‘get’ what Laithwaites is about. Quote of the day: “I thought you just did what supermarkets do; now I know better”.

Really, the wines were tasting superb. Bloody marvelous in fact.


It’s SO impressive. Mark had put a bottle of every wine they’ve bottled this year on a high shelf.

Busy panorama

“50 Chais au Quai” is a joke (apparently) but really quite an achievement. Because every one of those has had the team’s tender care and cosseting. We had a couple of our growers there. They LOVE what we do to take their rough diamond wines up to the highest levels of finis.

Mark & JMS

Mark and Jean-Marc have earned their holidays. (Which they have to take now before vintage 2012 begins, maybe next month).

Night shot

About Tony Laithwaite

Tony Laithwaite, founder of Laithwaite's, whose passion for wine is still going strong!