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Wine and Spirit Merchants since 1830
Tasting Club




The original caption read: Richard Brinsley and Bernard Badwell were partners in Portal, Dingwall and Norris.William Thomas had his own business in Springfield, Northampton.

Wine Merchants - photographed 25 August 1887

L-R: Richard Brinsley Portal (b.1808), Bernard Badwell Portal (b.1811) and William Thomas Portal (b.1816)

Our story starts in 1830 when 2 brothers, Charles and Joseph Dingwall started a wine and spirits business in London. They were soon joined by another couple of brothers, Richard and Bernard Portal. The company expanded and by 1892, when Arthur Norris joined and brought Lemon Hart Rum with him, the company were already sole proprietors and shippers of Fonseca port and had important concerns in Glenlivet whisky as well as sherry, brandy and French wines. The business continued to grow, acquiring 2 rum merchants during the Great Depression, selling off their whisky interests at the start of the Second World War and taking in Lamb’s Navy Rum and Red Heart Rum when they were bombed out of their premises. Soon after the war, the 3 companies merged to become United Rum Merchants. URM was, in turn, folded into Allied Breweries then Allied Lyons and finally Allied Domecq, until in 1993, Philip Portal acquired his ancestor’s business trading name for his own budding wine and spirits shop, Ivy Wines. Philip still runs the business today and has built a team as passionate about wine and spirits as he is.


These days, we aim to have a wide range of both wines and spirits which are varied and unique. We strive to build great relationships with our suppliers, ensuring we pass nothing but quality and great value on to our customers. Our team enjoy sourcing interesting, great tasting new products whilst maintaining the level of quality and individuality we look for and value in all our stock. We now supply restaurants and pubs as well as weddings, corporate events and, of course, individuals.

Meet the Team!

Philip Portal

Job:Buying stock, Trade account management

A few of my favourite products are Pouilly-Vinzelles, Chateau des Graviers Quintessence Margaux and Edmond Rentz Gewurztraminer Froehn

Whilst not at work I enjoy snooker, sailing, DIY and playing on my tractor at home in France.

Jane Portal

Job: Telephone orders, Menu design and production

A few of my favourite products are La Bri Syrah, Chateau Ricardelle Vignelacroix and Grande Dauphine Liqueur

Whilst not at work I enjoy sewing, reading and spending time in my garden in France

Carl Saunders

Job:Trade account management, Sourcing new stock

A few of my favourite products are Cargo Cult rum, Citadelle No Mistakes Old Tom and Domaine Denis Pinot Noir

Whilst not at work I enjoy Golf and Gin and Tonics!

Nicky Bell

Job: Accounts

A few of my favourite products are Sancerre Ultimus, Chateau des Graviers Margaux, Bollinger

Whilst not at work I enjoy kayaking, walking and travelling.

Jamie Ward

Job: Deliveries, Warehouse

A couple of my favourite products are Pedro Ximenez and Vouvray demi-sec

Whilst not at work I enjoy lawn bowls, snooker, art and spending time with my family.

Lucia Primrose

Job:Retail, Telephone orders

A few of my favourite products are Chateau des Graviers Margaux, Sancerre Ultimus and Ladies Edition Spring Gin

Whilst not at work I enjoy sailing, cooking and spending time with my family.

Felicity Brown

Job: Digital marketing, Social media

A few of my favourite products are Edmond Rentz Gewurztraminer Froehn, Saint Christophe Montbazillac and Corner 53 Pomelo gin

Whilst not at work I enjoy photography, baking and canoeing.