Contact Oakley Wine Agencies

Oakley Wine Agencies

26 Hythe Quay
Colchester CO2 8JB  

Tel +44 01206 863330
Fax +44 01206 866460
Mob +44 07711 056773 (Nick)
Mob +44 07738 470371 (Charlotte)

Skype nick.oakley
Skype (2) - charlotteowa  - finance buying, agencies - sales, business development - all enquiries (viewed by all of us) 


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Charlotte's Southern Portugal 'tour'

Since joining in April, we finally had a free week and thought it was an excellent opportunity for Charlotte to visit Portugal and meet the winemakers, the guys in the back office and everyone at the winery who we deal with on a daily basis.  The importance of getting to know the face behind the voice or email is not only valuable for ourselves but the wineries also. To build sucessful business relationships it's important to understand the nature of each winery and how they work, so that we can interpret and adapt to the working styles and cababilities of each.

On 13th November Charlotte and Nick flew to Lisbon to do a 3 day 'tour' around Southern Portugal to visit a handful of the excellent wineries in which we represent in the UK. Here's a small bit about each of the wineries we saw on our trip;


Quinta de Sant'Ana - Mafra

Arriving at 8.30pm on Sunday, we pulled up to the magnificent family home, a mustard yellow quinta fit for a large family such as James Frost's with his 7 sons and lovely wife Anna.





Top: The Quinta - Family home


Left: The pool with the autumn vines on the hillside

Above: French oak barells

James Frost is an Englishman who planted his vineyard just 10 years ago, in Gradil, Mafra which is 30 minutes North of Lisbon. Controversy surrounds this project as he produces varieties such as Pinot Noir and Reisling, extremely unusual for Portugal but this cool site allows these varieties to thrive and produce superb wines. A small family run winery, the site has a chapel, guest accommodation, a swimming pool and wedding venue. It truly is a beautiful place, which produces delicate and elegant wines of excellent quality.


Companhia Agrícola do Sanguinhal

Based in Bombarral, close to Lisbon, Sanguinhal is an historic estate which has been working for centuries consistently producing top quality wine. Carlos Fonseca showed us around the winery where the antique wine presses made from felled trees stand proud in the tasting and function room. We also got a chance to meet the team at head office which was valuable, and took a look at some of the vines located behind the wonderful quinta.



Above: The antique wine presses & The gift shop

Right: Quinta do Sanguinhal complete with vicious guard dog of unknown breed, caught here in a rare waking moment 




Falua Sociedade de Vinhos

The highly efficient and organised Falua winery is situated in Almeirim, close to the river Tagus and just 40 minutes from Lisbon. The scale and high tech functionality that this winery has to offer really is astonishing. This is the home for a lot of the big brand wines we have in our portfolio such as Tagus Creek and Tesco Finest Portuguese range to name a few. We had a tour of the winery and met the team, and saw the high tech machinery they use to work at the most efficient levels possible.

The Falua winery is one of the largest producers we work with and have prided themselves on not just making a large quantity of wine but of excellent quality and to suit all aspects of todays global wine market.



Left: The bottled stock ready to be collected

Below: The specially designed stainless steel tanks with a wide base and the wooden wine tanks which are specifically used for storing the red wines.












Almeida Garrett

Set in the foothills of Serra de Estrala mountain range, the Almeida Garrett winery is a modest enterprise run by Jose Garrett (Zito) and sister Margarida. The winery is small but perfectly formed and is where the Star Mountain wine is produced which is currently sold in UK supermarket chain Co-op. The next project that they are embarking on is developing thier new wine 'TNT' which is a blend of Touiga Nacional and Trincadeira...a cunning play on words we think.  Obviously an explosive blend........

Above: The view accross the mountain

Right: The family farmhouse          

The family quinta is a large farmhouse set in the mountains with spectacular view accross woodlands, surrounding villages and the 'mountains of the stars'...although the fog got in the way a bit on our visit. A wonderful site with perfectly sloped hillsides and cool valley climate for making delicious wines.


Herdade do Sobroso

This is the home of the Sobro wines, which have not long been on our portfolio. Herdade do Sobrose is located at Alqueva and set in the middle of knowhere which adds to it's tranquil feel of a getaway retreat. The winery is located in the middle of a vast landscape and has guest accommodation, an infinity pool and excellent restaurant on site. Filipe Teixiera showed us around and treated us to lunch in the hotel restaurant which was excellent , a perfect match for the great wines they produce here. Javali com castanhas (wild boar with chestnuts).   A lot of care and precision is taken in the winemaking process and futuristic temparature control technology is used to ensure guaranteed top quality wines.



Above: The guest accommodation with Infinity pool

Right: A magnum of Sobro red

Far Right: Setting



Joao Portugal Ramos - Estremoz

The JP Ramos estate is of an immense scale, yet manages to capture quality and attention to detail to ensure that it meets the more upper-market tastes.

Above: The vines with thier autumnal coats on

Right: The barrel store where some of the estate's fine wines are ageing and being closely monitored

This estate specialises in the high end estate wines which are targeted at the more refined wine drinkers and are a little more expensive than those produced at Falua (the baby brother which was a more recent addition to the business). The wines they produce here are given special care and attention, time in fine oak barrels, in some cases are hand selected at the cellar door and 50% of the harvesting is still done by hand. It's the small detail given at each stage of the wine producing chain here which ensures wines of top quality come out at the end of the process.

Below: The JP Ramos estate (in spring)


Quinta do Casal Branco

Casal Branco is set in Almeirim, and has been established for many years and run by Jose Lobo. This is the home of the Terra de Lobos and Falcoaria wines which are sold to many independents in the UK wine trade. It's a reasonably large winery, it's not ultra modern but is practical and a smooth running winery with a fantastic wine & gift shop. Duarte Carvalho the new export manager treated us to lunch in the on-site cafe which was very warm and homely. They also breed and train horses at Casal Branco but unfortunately on this occasion we didn't see any. The most fascinating fact of all they have a Stork, called Teresinha who lives in a large nest perched on the top of the chimney! Amazing!

Below: Teresinha's nest and winery entrance

Below from left to right: The cosy winery cafe, a Falcoaria Christmas gift box, the gift shop




ViniPortugal Tasting - Dublin

Jean Smullen and Tania Oliveira did an excellent job organising the Wines of Portugal tasting, in Dublin on 24th October. Despite the heavy rain, which caused havoc in Dublin's streets and abandoned cars on the roads, we were safe and dry in the Radisson Blu hotel showcasing Portugal's finest wines.

Nick and Charlotte made the trip with Camilo Leite of Lusovini, to support Classic Drinks on their stand and also Joao Portugal Ramos on theirs, with a selection of wines stocked by O'Briens. All the wines were very well received by both the Irish Trade and the general public who attended the final 2 hours of the show.

The show was a great chance for Charlotte to meet some of the great clients we deal with in Ireland, Lynne Coyle and Kevin O'Brien from O'Briens, Hugh Murray, Steve Dwyer, Kieran Quinn from Classic Drinks, the lovely Jean Smullen and many more....

After the tasting, Steve Dwyer of Classic Drinks treated us all to Dinner at Olesya's wine bar and bistro and it was absolutely gorgeous. We drank Boas Vinhas red... from our supplier Lusovini in Portugal of course and a beautiful Sauvignon blanc from NZ. In true Irish style we then went on to drink Guiness in a traditional Irish pub in the heart of Dublin before bed.

Overall a worthwhile trip and a great tasting, enjoyed by all who took part.







Charlotte on the Classic Drinks stand at the Dublin tasting



Boutique Wineries tasting - a taste of fame for Charlotte!


Three Wine Men Tasting - London 3rd & 4th Dec

Enjoy a fun-packed day of wine in London in the company of the Three Wine Men: Oz Clarke (the much loved wine and beer expert on Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure), Olly Smith and Tim Atkin MW (Saturday Morning Kitchen, The Mail on Sunday and other publications).


There’ll be hundreds of different wines from all over the world to taste; have a drink with the Three Wine Men and pick up some great wines while you’re there.

3rd & 4th December 

Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John’s Wood London, NW8 8QN

We will be exhibiting a range of wines from Portugal and a little bit of Spain. Come and join in the fun!


For more information and to book tickets visit:

 Facebook: Three Wine Men

Twitter: @threewinemen


Norway steps into Spain

Went to the Arcus group tastings in Oslo over the last weekend.  Brilliantly hosted by Sebastian Bredal of Symposium wines, the tastings were a great success.  Sunday saw trade visitors, and Monday, the Vinmonopolet staff, followed by a public tasting.  Our Spanish Steps from Victor Arroyo in the Bierzo was very well received, as well as his organic wine Esencial, made from old vines Mencia.

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