James Tanner reminisces about the origins of what is probably the UK’s very first ‘House Claret’
So, Tanners Claret is almost as old as me! Almost, but not quite. My first time going abroad, I remember the ferry – a big ship called the Leopard belonging to Normandy ferries. Well, it was big for a four year old. We were off to Bordeaux for a sunshine-filled week, staying in a cottage in the vineyards at Château Angludet. The cottage is still there, my daughter Jemima found it while working the 2021 vintage, where she spent a fortnight on the sorting table. But back to the seventies... my father and Peter Sichel were up to something, beyond family holidays. The Sichel family had recently become the first Bordeaux wine merchant to build a winery and had just started to market a ‘claret’ but none of the UK merchants seemed to have their own house claret, which was incredible given it’s such a generic, anglophone name.