In 1929 Ronald Vincent Wyles, a Coventry butchers’ son, began to sell wines from a small shop in Coventry, known as The Bablake Wine Lodge. He worked during the day as a butcher, then in the evenings at his off-licence. So began the 80-year history of what is now Bablake Wines Limited.
As the new age of prosperity began in post-war Britain the country gradually saw a renewed ability to travel abroad, and slowly but surely this raised the awareness of table wines. Ron could see the potential of this and relinquished his other business interests to concentrate fully on his wine company. The following years showed steady expansion with extra shops and warehousing, and then in the 1960’s the next generation of his family joined him.
The Queen’s Silver Jubilee weekend in 1977 saw the opening of a new purpose-built headquarters in Coventry incorporating offices, warehousing and Cash and Carry. Gloucester and Bristol depots were to follow increasing the distribution area and a ‘Bonded’ warehouse was also added.
The family, Martin & Rupert Wyles and Wiz Perry, still remember with fondness the ‘good old days’ of bottling their own Spanish ‘Burgundy’, Spanish ‘Sauternes’ and Pipes of Port. However, as one of the largest independent drinks distributors with a catchment area of almost one-third of the country, they have little time for reminiscing.