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Stuart George launched the Brook Street-based online retailer ArdenFineWines.com in March 2019 to enable fine and rare wines to be enjoyed by private and corporate clients.
“Mayfair is a fantastic location to work in because it’s so central and easy to get to and from. And it’s a nice part of town”, says Stuart.”.
Stuart began his wine career 23 years ago working in retail with the distinguished Master of Wine Anthony Hanson, who has served on the Royal Household and Government Hospitality wine committees.
A holder of the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in Wine and Spirits since 2000, Stuart has tasted vintages back to 1780. He was UK Young Wine Writer of the Year in 2003 before working with Hugh Johnson OBE at The World of Fine Wine magazine.
“Our company’s name comes from the Forest of Arden, which once covered a large area of the English Midlands”, says Stuart. “I was born and grew up on the Worcestershire-Warwickshire border in ‘Shakespeare Country’”.
“Arden” also evokes the former Champagne-Ardenne region in France, known for the eponymous sparkling wine.
The Forest of Arden is the setting of Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. The Wayside Cross at Coughton, Warwickshire, was where travellers would pray for safe passage through the Forest of Arden. “In the same spirit, we wish all our customers an enjoyable and rewarding experience with our fine wines”, adds Stuart.
As an example of the prestigious bottles offered by Arden Fine Wines, Stuart currently has available a bottle of the great Château Mouton Rothschild 1945 that came from the cellar of Faringdon House in Oxfordshire, the former country house of Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners, and his companion and heir Robert Heber-Percy. Heber-Percy’s granddaughter sold the house in 2016 and its contents were sold in 2017.
“It is believed that the bottle was acquired by Lord Berners before 1950 or by Robert Heber-Percy after 1951, possibly as a gift from a visitor to Faringdon House”, explains Stuart. “Lord Berners was a generous host but, according to Mark Amory’s 1998 biography of him, he was not a great wine connoisseur – which might explain why this prestigious bottle was never consumed.”
The bottle is £12,000 – but it might be sold by the time that you read this…