Ernest Hemingway once said “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world…and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” Fine wine, like art and literature, feeds the soul as much as it does the senses as it is an amalgamation of culture, history, and man’s attention to the beauty and pleasures of the natural world.
Drawn by the dream of selling something enjoyable to his customers, former life insurance salesman Stephen Williams founded The Antique Wine Company in 1982. Since then, AWC has risen to the pinnacle of fine and rare wine merchants in the world, trading strictly only in the highest quality wines. Once referred to as the “Sherlock Holmes of Wine,” Stephen Williams, now CEO, has led his company into a prestigious reputation of acquiring some of the best wines in the world while offering outstanding customer service.
In the last 33 years, AWC has collected over 10,000 luxury wine bottles in their cellars and boasts over 20,000 clients in 70 different countries from private collectors to hotels, restaurants and the network of worldwide wine trading. Operating centrally from London, England, they also have two offices in Hong Kong and Manila, Philippines. AWC is a record-breaking institution having sold the most valuable bottle of wine in history, an 1811 Chateau d’Yquem for $117,000, to a former sommelier who plans to enjoy his purchase as the winemakers had intended. This transaction was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011. In 1995, AWC handled the transaction of an entire collection of Chateau d’Yquem was purchased by the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera for $1.5 million.
In addition to selling luxury wines, AWC is available to design private wine-storage cabinets and cellars for clients. The company offers advice and support to private collectors and collections in places such as chateaus, palaces, and grand hotels. Still more impressive is the AWC Wine Academy, launched in 2011, which holds wine master-classes, wine courses, and hosts private events for aspiring wine connoisseurs.
The Antique Wine Company’s attention to detail and its employees’ passionate exemplification of the wine trade has been polled and reported as “outstanding.”