I set up The Vineking in 2003 from the proverbial kitchen table, having worked for a series of great but more traditional merchants, I wanted to do something different. The idea was to provide a more specialist retail offering, with the knowledge that there were customers out there who wanted delicious, rather than mass bought, mass produced industrial wines. Since the beginning, our Vineking motto has always been “great wines, no nonsense” - we are all about making the world of great wine a simple joy to explore. We love nothing better than debunking the nonsense that can make choosing and enjoying wine feel daunting and only for people in the know. Rather we love to get people excited about tasting and discovering wines that delight and surprise their personal palates and enjoying cracking open those discoveries with friends. Great wine, great food and great friends. There’s nothing stuffy, complicated or intimidating about that nor indeed us. Over the years I have managed to persuade many other like-minded “no nonsense” wine lovers to work under The Vineking banner. Having the right people is key and below is the best bunch I could hope for. For us this isn’t work, it’s a calling; there is simply nothing else we’d rather do than source, share and sell delicious wine. So, if your tastebuds are ready, let’s get you exploring great wines without the nonsense!
West Road - Reigate
Mark has worked with Erik since the early 90s knows wines inside and out. Mark used to work with the big guys in the restaurant business and has managed our original shop on West Road for the last 10 years.
Mark knows his customers intimately and plays an integral part of the community. On a Friday night, the atmosphere that Mark has created is almost akin to going to your local boozer, where everyone knows your name and there’s always something open to taste (for free!)
Julie joined The Vineking in 2021 to run our Weybridge Wine Lounge on a Thursday and Friday night. Julie’s wine knowledge is amazing, and her level of service second to none. She runs the bar like a first-class cabin as Julie comes with years of British Airways’ 1st class service.
Greg hails from Languedoc, in the South-West of France. He has an incredible knowledge of wine, particularly wine from his dynamic home region and across the whole of France.
Before coming to work The Vineking, Greg worked at Jereboams, London and can now be found at the weekend in our Weybridge shop with something always open to try.
Greg loves getting to know his customers; nothing gives him greater joy, than perhaps playing rugby, than finding and suggesting new wines that you may not have tried, but are likely to love.
Church Street - Reigate
Hamish started in the wine trade in the 80s and was involved in the original setting up of Oddbins.
Hamish is immensely passionate about wine, particularly South African wine. “For me the Western Cape is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world. It boasts an abundance of dynamic winemakers who are willing to experiment and adapt. There is an almost personal expression of their character in the wines they make but generally, it is all about showing off the fruit and the land it came from.”
Meeting Hamish you can expect to enjoy his great sense of humour and his commitment to really understanding what his customers want and to get it for them.
Church Street & West Road - Reigate
Chloe has a great knowledge of wine, a fabulous palate and a great focus on the buying side of the business. Thankfully for us, she is also a dab hand getting our website shop up to date and keeping much of our admin in order.
When interviewed, Chloe was nearly hired on the spot when she declared her favourite wine was Erik’s firm favourite too; Reisling.
The Vineking & Surrey Tasting Rooms - Reigate
Frank came into the Vineking in 2012 to buy a cigar and left with a job; perhaps Erik’s greatest upsell of all time. Coming from a background in hospitality; running events, restaurants and weddings, Frank is integral to producing and hosting our tasting events, pop up dinners at The Vineking, East Molesey and the Surrey Tasting Rooms, Reigate.
A man of many talents, a high degree of energy and passion for wine and great food, Frank can often be found at any one of shops. He is simply brilliant at hospitality and can be contacted for any event management needs, from how much booze you need for a party at home, to organising a private dinner or entire wedding.
Rachel joined us in 2023 and is a big fan of wine with a level 2 WSET qualification in wine.
A self-confessed geek, Rachel likes nothing more than getting under the bonnet of a numbers to see what insights the sales data can reveal about the growth potential of the business.
When her attention is not deeply, digesting data you can find Rachel managing the Vineking East Molesey.
Bar & Tastings
If you could buy Suzy with your wine you’d probably want to. She is such a joy; radiating warmth and fun to all our bar and tasting event customers who have the pleasure of being served by her.
Other than her brilliant vibe she makes us look great with the amazing platters she pulls together.
Ian is the key point of failure; if Ian’s not at work nothing is going to happen. Ian gets in early and often leaves late making sure all the right stock is going in and going out, between our stores and delivered to our customers.
Anna joined 2022 and has been instrumental in sorting out our Social Media and has a vast amount of advertising and marketing background. Anna is the storyteller of our business, helping us successfully win awards and tell our story better than we can ourselves. When not marketing, Anna is a yoga teacher, passionate about wellness and wine - everything in balance!