Private Client Sales

The Private Client Team are constantly working with their clients to develop and manage their wine collections. With an incredible passion for wine and an extensive knowledge of the Armit Wines portfolio, they are experts when it comes to knowing what to drink now and what to save for future enjoyment.


Why Wine?

There are few greater pleasures in life than being able to dip into a well looked after wine collection however, contrary to popular belief, stocking a cellar doesn’t have to cost the earth, with a little attention, it can suit most budgets and tastes.

There are three main reasons that people build collections of wine: to drink, to invest for financial gains, or a combination of the two, drinking their favourites and selling on others to finance their collection. 

To drink

  • Having a well-chosen wine cellar can suit your needs whether it be for a party, a special occasion or just for a glass of wine on a Tuesday night.
  • Not all wine has to be kept for many years, with some intended to be drunk within a year or two of production, while others are at their best after 10 years or more in the cellar.
  • Wines become more rare as people drink them and therefore harder to find mature wines.  The surest way of securing the best wines, is to buy them upon release and build your collection allowing it to mature.
  • If you buy your wine young, it is often cheaper than buying mature wine.  In the same manner that investment works, as wine matures it can become more expensive. 

To invest

  • Many people stock their collection with a view to making a financial return on their wine.  The simple basis for wine as investment is that wine becomes rarer as people drink their bottles, and many wines become more desirable as they approach full maturity.[1]
    • From a tax perspective, in most cases wine is considered a chattel and as such is not subject to capital gains tax.
    • If you were to buy multiple cases of the same wine and sell a portion, it can in effect, fund what you drink.
    • The main categories for wines bought to invest are from Italy, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and increasingly wines from top estates in the US and Champagne.

Why Armit Wines?

As one of the leading fine wine merchants in the UK, Armit is a great choice to buy your wine from.  In 1988 John Armit founded his eponymous company; at the time he was one of the best known personalities in the wine trade.  Having been managing director of one of the world’s foremost wine merchants, he used all of his contacts to ensure the wines he could offer were second to none.

Wine range

  • Representing some of the best wines the world over.  The range includes Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Gaja and Bruno Giacosa from Italy; Leflaive, Fourrier, Roulot and Roumier from Burgundy; Chateau Lafleur from Pomerol, Bordeaux; Diamond Creek from California to name a few.  Truly world class names!

Wine storage

  • Armit offers storage for your wine at Octavian cellars insured and at preferential rates.  As one of the world’s best wine storage facilities, it holds more than £1billion worth of wine for customers and merchants from around the world.  It is a bonded warehouse, meaning you do not pay taxes on the wine until you take delivery of it.  It ensures perfect provenance and traceability on all of your cases.

Wine sales

  • If you decide to sell your wine, Armit can offer the wine for sale on a broking basis.  We offer it to existing clients at an agreed price, at a fee of 10% upon sale.  If it does not sell, there is no fee.  As we have fans of the wines that we sell, they are often very keen to have access to the older wines and are willing to pay a premium for them.

Dinners and tastings

  • We frequently hold dinners and tastings through the year.  They range from more formal dinners with a winemaker, to informal and one on one.   They present a great opportunity to try the wines in a fun setting.


Customer Service

The least tangible but one of the most important aspects.  You will be looked after by one account manager, your main point of contact for all queries, whether it is accounts, purchases, storage etc. You will have a direct line and email address and won’t have to deal with automated phone lines.  A personal relationship and trust is very important to help you enjoy your experience.

Aschwin Vachher-Gnanathurai - Head of Private Clients

Aschwin Vachher-Gnanathurai - Head of Private Clients

Aschwin's passion for music during his education led to a highly enjoyable yet utterly unsustainable journey around the London gig circuit. It was during a trip to Northern California that he discovered a taste for wine and desire to involve himself in its fascinating story. Since joining Armit Wines he has embraced his wine education with much enthusiasm. After a stint as the in-house digital expert, Aschwin took the lead in setting up the Direct Sales department, focusing on the customer journey through our award-winning wine list. He now heads the Private Client team with a philosophy that focusses on meeting our clients wine buying needs by offering a first class service void of pretension.

Aschwin plays in a band with lifelong friends. Outside of music and wine, he has a passion for sport and food; although he has learnt that the two don’t always complement each other.




Ruby Smith - M

Ruby Smith-Merovitz - Private Client Accounts & Broking Manager

Ruby moved to London in 2015 from her native Canada in pursuit of expanding her experience and knowledge in the heart of the global wine trade.  She is very happy to be working within the Trading team at Armit, and to gain exposure to the global markets and a side of the trade so unique to London.

 Ruby found her way into the wine industry whilst working in top restaurants in Toronto and Calgary, somewhere along the way realising that talking to people about wine was her favourite part.  Having worked with food and wine for many years now, she has focused squarely on her wine education for the past four of those and is currently working towards the WSET Diploma.

 Though undoubtedly excited by the explosive and dynamic London restaurant scene, she is a big proponent of ‘dining in’ and the art of entertaining at home, loving nothing more than a few (or more) hours set aside to spend in the kitchen, followed by a meal shared with friends and family.  It is her personal view that the best time to drink wine is whilst cooking – that beautiful window when waiting for something in the oven.

Malcolm Willatts - Private Client Account Manager

Malcolm Willatts - Private Client Account Manager

As a means of making ends meet (i.e. funding student drinking) at university, Malcolm found his way to the local Oddbins to stack shelves. Working with talented and enthusiastic managers rubbed off and a variety of full-time wine related jobs followed as his studies came to an end.  He began learning the ropes in private client sales with a London merchant for 3 years before joining Armit Wines in April 2015.

When not selling wine he enjoys eating, rugby and more wine, not always in that order. His wines of choice are eclectic but often Burgundian, German and increasingly Italian in origin.


Alex Robertson - Private Client Account Manager

Alex Robertson - Private Client Account Manager

With over eight years of experience in the wine trade, Alex started his career on the shop floors at Oddbins.  Keen to experience the winemaking side of the business he completed a short stint at Los Vascos winery in Chile, before furthering his experience at Lea & Sandeman and Laithwaites, and four years with the fine wine team at Bancroft Wines. Alex joined Armit wines in April 2013, attracted by one of the finest portfolios in the trade and enjoys looking after a host of clients from all over the world, advising them on all aspects of their wine buying needs.

Other than wine, Alex loves weekends in the countryside, skiing, cycling and visiting his local butcher.


Peter Valiunas - Private Client Account Manager

Peter Valiunas - Private Client Account Manager

Peter has just transitioned into the world of fine wine after a career in the City. He has had a fondness for all things vinous from an early age, with a predilection for the Old World and Burgundy in particular. He was lucky enough to explore many of Burgundy’s cellars while living in Geneva in the early ‘90s and is agnostic on geography and grape variety when it comes to tasting - as long as a wine is well made and interesting!

In his spare time Peter loves to read and appreciate his wife’s fine cuisine, perhaps a bit too much!


Oli Smith - Private Client Account Manager

Oli Smith - Private Client Account Manager

For Oli, it was a sip of Sauternes that sparked the realisation that wine was something to get excited about.  As time passed– and more tasting – a passion for wine grew. A three year stint at Majestic Wine followed, culminating in managing the flagship Fine Wine centre in St. John’s Wood before joining Armit.

Champagne, Rhone and Bordeaux are the wines that you will most likely find gracing his glass, though Italian wines are providing more pleasure than ever.  Outside of wine it is hiking, cooking, cycling and the hunt for the best street food in London that occupies most of his time. 



Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7908 0655