150 years and five generations has made the Davy family expert wine merchants. As suppliers to ROSL, Chairman James Davy tells Overseas what it takes to bring the best to members
Our approach to buying is simple but it works for us. We like dealing with independent, family businesses that are a similar size and have a similar philosophy to ours. We are only interested in quality and being family owned and fully independent, we only need to buy wines if we like them. So, we taste and re-taste and don’t settle for something if it doesn’t hit the spot. At Davy’s, we like a good environmental approach too. The best wineries work in harmony with the land and make decisions with the next generation in mind – our business is very much run in the same way.
Choosing the right producers
Our portfolio is Europe heavy because of the number of long-standing relationships that we have established over the past 150 years, however, we now work with excellent producers across the world. We like to ship wines that are exclusive to Davy’s in the UK.
A lot of new producers, we find through relationships. We often get recommendations from customers and other wineries too. Also, as our wholesale division has grown, we have listened to the growing number of customers that we have in top London restaurants, hotels, and indeed membership organisations such as The Royal Over-Seas League, and responded with styles of wine that they are looking for.
Our portfolio is made up predominantly of small, independent growers who share our philosophy of quality over quantity. We look for terroir driven wines, which are truly representative of where they come from, whilst also seeking out the personalities behind the wine – the winemaker or family who own the estate.
We constantly benchmark our portfolio to ensure the wines we offer provide value for money, whatever the price point. As with many aspects of life, the more you put in, the more you get out so it is no accident that the wineries we select based on their taste and quality are usually those who put an emphasis on soil health and working with sustainable and/or organic methods.
We constantly benchmark our portfolio to ensure the wines we offer provide value for money, whatever the price point
Getting the right wines to you
We visit our producers when we can, or have samples sent to us here, to assess new vintages and select the wines that we want to import. We also have two annual portfolio tastings every year, one to cover our producers from the ‘Old World’ and the other covering those from the ‘New World’. Often, during these tastings producers will present new wines from their range to gauge customer feedback.
Our portfolio tastings take place at Royal Over-Seas League and are always well attended. ROSL members receive a special price for these tastings – details of which will be released ahead of our next scheduled tasting in September.
Supply to ROSL began following our acquisition of established Wine & Spirit Merchant, Mayor Sworder in 2009, a company run by ROSL Member and Master of Wine Martin Everett. Martin remains part of the team at Davy’s providing continuity and a link to a further several decades of supply to the club.
ROSL members have always taken a great interest in the wines that feature on the lists at the club and the list has evolved over the years, influenced in part by member feedback from the many wine dinners and events held at Over-Seas House. We aim to act as a conduit between our producers and consumers, and the Royal Over-Seas League is a perfect example of this process working well. Most of our producers have visited the club for our Annual Portfolio tastings and several have become members along the way.
Despite the pandemic, we are still operating as usual so you can order online for contact-free delivery to your front door. We have created a unique web page for ROSL members, featuring up to 20% off some club favourites. We also offer a 15% discount off any otherwise non-discounted wines at checkout with voucher code DWDFFF.
For more information and to take advantage of this exclusive offer for ROSL members, visit davywine.co.uk/rosl