The Chalié Brothers wine merchant, general merchant and banker business started up in 1700. Berry Bros & Rudd dates back to 1698? but, according to Chalié, it originally sold provisions, exotic spices, tea and coffee, and didn’t trade in fine wines and whisky until after 1700.
“Chalié Richards’ continued success for over 300 years is a result of the relationships? built over the years, combined with an outstanding portfolio of brands,” the company said in a statement. “By adapting to new market forces?, Chalié Richards is proud to be the UK’s oldest wine merchant? and still going strong.”?Simon Berry? of Berry Bros & Rudd? said: “Chalié Richards is quite right that the business at St James’s Street probably didn’t sell wine in 1698 – it sold tea and coffee, which were the fashionable (and expensive) drinks of the time.
“?They are forgetting the other branch of the business – my family? were wine merchants in Exeter in the 1690s and married into the St James’s business ?100 years later.
So we believe we are the oldest wine merchants in the country.”