Series 1 – 1874 to 1924
Launched to celebrate our 150th anniversary, this special range of limited-edition wines has been crafted with some of our best-loved producers to be just right for members to enjoy in our 150th year and beyond. Inspiration for the range, which is divided into four fifty-year periods, has been gleaned from our archive of wine Lists. Our buyers looked at the kinds of wines being enjoyed by members in the past and worked with our winemakers to create highly original but always delicious modern incarnations of historic wines. Each carries a unique label taken from a pictorial history or Vineline depicting The Wine Society’s 150-year history.
With a focus on the first 50 years of our history and bespoke labels reflecting the times, this first release is strong on European classics, starting from just £10.50 a bottle.
Discover more about each of the wines in The Generation Series and their unique labels below.
This is an attractive and complex blend of Mâcon from a number of villages with 8% oak-aged wine to contribute principally structure, not aroma, and 19% from a superior appellation included to augment the quality. 2022 is a warm year that produced ripe yet fresh fruit with a melony character, it illustrates expertise of négociant house Maison Jacques Dépagneux, with whom we have had a long and fruitful relationship. Their extensive contacts in Burgundy and their consummate skills in selecting and blending wines helps them to achieve such excellent quality at competitive prices.
The label depicts some firsts in our history taken from our Vineline: start of an enduring relationship with Gratien in 1906, installation of the telephone in 1905 and construction of the Palladium above our cellars in 1910.
Rioja has a long and celebrated history, and it has seen many changes over the centuries. For our anniversary we wanted to honour to the way that Rioja was made, aged and labelled when The Wine Society was in its infancy. To do this, we asked Bodegas Hacienda López de Haro to apply their generations of experience in Rioja’s vineyards to make this wonderful blend of garnacha and tempranillo and age it for several years before bottling in 2023.
Label shows: First office and cellar at Medical Society of London. Founder, Brudenell Carter FRCS.
Over the years, Château Beaumont has delighted us all with its consistent supply of benchmark left-bank claret and outstanding value, earning members’ unfailing loyalty and making The Wine Society their biggest customer worldwide. It made perfect sense for us to work with them in the exemplary 2019 vintage to make this silky-smooth, plump merlot-cabernet sauvignon blend. We believe that the members of the first 50 years of our existence would have enjoyed it as much as you will.
Label shows: Royal Albert Hall where we were founded in 1874. First Chairman, Mac-Leod of Mac-Leod. Company seal and earliest existing List cover, 1880.
This Bucelas really had to be among our anniversary wines. After all, a ‘Bucellas’ was the first wine The Society ever bought in August of 1874! We turned to Portuguese wine giant, the family-owned Sogrape Vinhos and their Quinta da Romeira estate, which has been producing wines since 1703, for this fresh modern version, a crisp, dry Portuguese white that epitomises the Atlantic freshness of Atlantic coast, and available by the bottle or the half-bottle.
Label shows: Victorian decanter labels reveal popularity of this wine. Punch illustration of Wine Society founder Brudenell Carter FRCS.
When The Wine Society began in 1874, rieslings from Germany were greatly favoured in Britain, not least by Queen Victoria herself. According to our Germany buyer, Marcel Orford-Williams, the popular rieslings of the time would have been dry. We therefore turned to our oldest partners there, the Bürklin-Wolf family of Wachenheim in the Pfalz region, to create a wine for our Generation Series.
Label shows: Wines were 'tested' rather than 'tasted' by the Committee for adulteration! Tower Bridge opens 1894. California zinfandel is listed, 1890.
It was somewhat unexpected to find primitivo appearing in so many of our early Lists. Our buyer for Italy, Sarah Knowles MW, was delighted, and partnered with Produttori di Manduria in the grape’s Puglian heartland to find an anniversary treat. A co-operative approaching its own centenary, they worked with Sarah to make this lovely primitivo from old bush-vine fruit on the Salento Peninsula. Sarah was given free rein to choose any primitivo she desired for it. Her judgement was spot on.
Label shows: Advert for wine stoppers. Opening of Central London Railway. Death of Queen Victoria, 1901. New Arts and Crafts List cover, 1903.
It will surprise no one that Ports were among our earliest offerings to members. We believe that this silky unfiltered gem from the historic Quinta do Vale Meão, producer of The Society’s Exhibition Douro – a company woven into the tapestry of the Douro Valley – pays delicious homage to those great old Ports in considerable style. Ready to drink but quite capable of ageing, this is history in a glass just waiting for your cheeseboards or chocolates.
Label shows: 1918, dog guard joins staff following a theft from the van. Opera singer Louise Kirkby-Lunn becomes a member, 1922.
A trusted relationship of more than 100 years is a remarkable thing, but that is just what we have with the superb house of Gratien & Meyer in the Loire valley, producers of top-quality sparkling wines. They were the obvious choice to make a wine to celebrate our 150th anniversary and they have produced something scintillating. It’s a classic blend led by chenin blanc, so deliciously different to our popular Celebration Crémant and well worth celebrating in its own right.
Label shows: Alfred Gratien – we make our first shipment of bubbles, 1906. Arthur Conan Doyle joins, 1910. First typewriter, 1910.
Sherry has a long and storied history in Britain and was hugely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a shoo-in for our Generation Series. We wanted a sherry that reflected the style of wine that would have been familiar to our earliest members, and the famous house of Williams and Humbert have come up trumps with this blend of old, bone-dry oloroso and a dash of rich, sweet pedro ximénez from a 90-butt solera in their Jerez cellars.
Label shows: Bottling at Hills Place cellars. New List design by GM Ellwood.
This fragrant, silky red-fruited Portuguese red is the culmination of discussions between Wine Society buyer for Portugal, Joanna Locke MW, and the charismatic, innovative and inspirational Dirk Niepoort and his son Daniel. Together they have blended across regions to produce a style of wine that we believe is close to those that we shipped for members in the late 19th century. This wine is not only good to drink, it’s a taste of history.
Label shows: Opening of Tower Bridge, 1894. Advert for California zinfandel. 1897, Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee.
Beaujolais wines have featured in Society lists since our earliest days, and such was the fame of Régnié as an excellent source that grapes from around the village doubtless made their way in to many a Beaujolais shipped to us then. Its quality is still renowned. We turned to our long-time suppliers, Maison Jacques Dépagneaux and their impressive resources and contacts, to blend a wine worthy of our Generation Series from the excellent 2022 vintage.
Label shows: Writer John Galsworthy joins 1913. Lease signed on cellars in Hills Place, 1902.
Read more about our 150th anniversary
Vintage wines: what early Wine Society members were drinking
Our archive of old wine Lists and written histories provide a fascinating insight into what our ancestors were drinking and track the changing tastes over time. Here we take a look into the Lists spanning our first 50 years.
Explore the rich tapestry of The Wine Society’s 150-year history in pictures via our Vineline which charts key moments and the people who have shaped us.
The origins of The Wine Society
Unique in the world of wine, The Wine Society owes much of its special character and enduring appeal to how it came into being and the pioneering spirit of its founders.
The first 50 years of The Wine Society: 1874–1924
A fledgling wine club of amateurs becomes a professional wine merchant, built by and for wine lovers, and with quality and integrity at its core.