Our Story

The original Oxford Wine Company was founded in 1840 and traded from 125 High Street, Oxford until 1914. The name was revived in the early 1990s by Ted Sandbach, metamorphosing from ‘The Oxford Hamper Company through ‘The Oxford Wine and Hamper Company’ and finally becoming ‘The Oxford Wine Company’ in the Spring of 1992. Since then expansion has been rapid and the company now bears very little resemblance to its relatively humble origins in Ted’s garage!

These days, The Oxford Wine Company is a multi-award winning local independent wine merchant with a national profile. The company has achieved a Top 10 spot in Harpers Wine & Spirit 50 Best Indies every year, and has won multiple prestigious awards such as ‘Small Chain of the Year’ in the Drinks Retailing Awards and ‘Regional Merchant of the Year’ in the International Wine Challenge. In 2023 we were delighted to be named the Best Independent Wine Merchant in the UK by leading trade publication Harpers Wine & Spirit’s 50 Best Indies after featuring in the Top Ten every year since the list’s inception.

The Oxford Wine Company has three shops in Oxford: on the Botley Road, Turl Street (just around the corner from the original Oxford Wine Company site) and since 2020 on Little Clarendon Street. There is also a shop at the company’s headquarters in Standlake (just outside Witney). In addition to the retail shops we have a thriving wholesale arm, supplying a large range of restaurants, bars and other businesses throughout the South of England, and even have a sales arm in Wales.

Our team are passionate about wine and have the qualifications to prove it. Seven of the company’s staff hold the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma, and a further four are studying towards this industry benchmark qualification. One member of our staff is even working towards the Master of Wine, known as one of the world’s most difficult exams.

We love to share our knowledge, and also run The Oxford Wine School, which is an accredited programme provide for the WSET, offering beginner to advanced level courses. These structured courses are complemented by our busy events calendar, comprising informal tastings, winemaker-led masterclasses as well as annual fairs and dinners. Most events take place in The Jericho Wine Rooms, a purpose-built tasting room above our Little Clarendon Street shop. Smaller, more intimate tastings take place in the historic and atmospheric cellar beneath our Turl Street Shop.

The Oxford Wine Company stocks a range of over two thousand products, ranging from well-known classics to esoteric curiosities across wines, spirits and beers. Our team taste and travel extensively to make sure that each and every bottle on our shelves offers the best quality. We work hard to source wines that suit every palate and pocket. Combine this with the great service from each and every member of our team, and we think we’re onto a winning formula!