Introduction & Company background
Stemming from a successful group visit to Porto and the Douro Valley by ten friends, during the last week of September 2010 – with Victor Marques of Vitoria Koi Wines, an exceptional independent Douro Valley wine producer and close associate of two UK independent wine merchants, Bill Warry and Nicholas Collis – the company Wines & Tours was created and established early in April the following year.
Bill and Nicholas share the attitude that their wine-tours should be “fun and informative”. They always try to ensure a good balance between wine activity and relaxation! On one of their wine-tours in Portugal, someone once remarked “We were a little worried that there might be too many people on the tour. This is simply great. It is like visiting wineries with a group of friends”.
Wines & Tours, in pre-Coronavirus times, had offered an unusually large variety of wine tour options, ranging from 2-day tours to 12-day ones, which had usually included hotel accommodation. In some countries there are even single-day excursions. Apart from dinner on an occasional free half day (that may be programmed into a tour), all our wine-tours include the cost of; 1 or more meals per day, excursions, winery visits, wine tastings and all transport from the tour start to the tour finish points. Although they no longer include or offer any hotel accommodation, they are willing to recommend suitable hotel locations.
Due to the continuing need to maintain “social distancing”, Wines & Tours created a new initiative during the 2020/21 lockdowns to offer Single-day E-Bike wine tours – firstly being held within the UK and Cyprus – their new speciality, recently launched.
Meet the Team
The founding team have a combined wine-trade experience of well over 50 years within the UK, handling many old and new world wine brands, made by both small independent wine producers and large well-established international wine producer groups.
Here are the profiles of the main characters:
The expert team at Wines and Tours have been in the wine business for some time now. Read the profiles of the main characters within the business and see how time with them in an Italian vineyard or a Portuguese port lodge is time you just have to set aside.
Nicholas Collis, – Through a personal connection, Nicholas joined the coveted wine-trade in 1972 at Gonzalez Byass, the famous sherry shipper in London and quickly adapted his sales and marketing skills, gained from previous years with other blue-chip organisations. In 1984 he was appointed brand manager for a London wine agency house, before moving his home base to Wiltshire to develop sales in the southwest together with other associated roles. Then ten years later, he started his own small wholesale wine business, The Pewsey Vale Wine Company primarily to supply wines, by the case, to his friends and neighbours, which later specialised in Hispanic wines.
Bill Warry, a language graduate from London University’s King’s College, used to sell wine online in the UK before moving to Cyprus some ten years ago. He works as a freelance photojournalist for “Cyprus Alive” ( a Cyprus Information website), writing on wine and food topics as well as on topics of general Cyprus interest. He looks after most of the copywriting and photography for Wines and Tours ie the website content, newsletter and social media. As Company Secretary, he also maintains the company’s accounts. He participates in the running of wine tours with particular responsibility for Cyprus and Greece.
Iosif Iosif (Joseph Joseph), Cyprus Associate and the Sommelier of our team. He is a true wine aficionado. Although not currently working in the wine trade, he has for his own interest studied and taken exams for WSET level one and two and the ASI level one. He knows just about every wine producer in the Republic of Cyprus. He is an active member of the Sommelier Association of Cyprus and of Oenophiles Association of Famagusta Bacchus and frequently helps the Famagusta District Wine Club organise their annual exhibition. This features the forty or so principal wineries in the country. He has in the past worked as a sommelier even at prestigious hotels such as Grecian Park and Constantinos the Great in Paralimni and in a few restaurants in Ayia Napa. At Wines and Tours, he helps Bill Warry organise and conduct our Cyprus wine tours.
Ashika Mathews, Ashika trained in Viticulture and Oenology before working as a winemaker in Bordeaux. On her return to England, she ran the IWC (at the time the largest blind wine tasting competition in the world) then worked for Jancis Robinson before becoming a fine wine buyer and trader. She set up a Wine School and Events company teaching WSET courses and hosting private, public, and corporate tasting events. She consults for various companies and advises on wine lists, cellars, and tutored tastings. At Wines and Tours, Ashika helps Nicholas Collis organise and conduct our UK wine tours.
Sam Sandbach, (consultant) – started his wine career in Bordeaux, working in vineyards and studying Oenology and Viticulture at the University. Then to London, training and working as a buyer, eventually starting his own business, Winepress, importing from up-and-coming vineyards mostly in France, Spain and Italy. After relocating to Gloucestershire, he won support from discerning consumers whom he continues to enjoy supplying through Ledbury Wine Ltd., occasionally lecturing, and engaging in consultancy for both buyers and sellers of wine. Although not a grape-grower himself, Sam is fascinated by viticulture and the fast-developing English vineyard scene.
Getting in touch
To get in touch with the team from Wines & Tours, please use our contact form or call the Wines & Tours office on +44 (0) 800 135 7982 – Call us for FREE, from your UK land-line or Mobile now.
Or use our alternative number +44 (0) 7957 867 816.