The Chaliť Brothers wine merchant, general merchant and banker business
started up in 1700. Berry Bros & Rudd dates back to 1698
but, according to Chaliť, it originally sold provisions, exotic spices, tea and coffee, and didn't trade in fine wines and
whisky until after 1700.
"Chaliť 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 , Chaliť Richards is proud to be the UK's oldest wine merchant
and still going strong."
of Berry Bros & Rudd
said: "Chaliť 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
wine merchants in Exeter in the 1690s and
married into the St James's business
100 years later.
we are the oldest wine merchants in the country."