Taurus Wines is an independent, award-winning wine merchant and importer near Bramley in the Surrey Hills. We specialise in parties, weddings and celebrations, as well as having an extensive range of fine wines, beers and spirits, all nestled on the shelves of our beautifully renovated, 400-year-old barn, which we moved into in Spring 2018.
Rupert Pritchett - Director
Rupert has spent nearly 20 years in the wine trade, starting his career at the less-than-glamorous Victoria Wine in Guildford before becoming a manager of Majestic Wine. He has gained practical experience of winemaking both in the Southern Rhône (Gigondas) for Gabriel Meffre where he earned the 'Certificate de Vinificateur' and in Western Australia (Margaret River) where he worked a vintage for Capel Vale. He holds the WSET Diploma and the professional certificate in spirits.
Rupert has judged for both the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter Magazine Wine Awards. For three consecutive years he has been named by the Observer Magazine as one of the 50 "Rising Stars of the Drinks Industry". Rupert has also attended the Ecole des Grandes Maisons d'Alsace; a course run annually for 10 of the UK's top wine-buyers and sommeliers, from which he graduated as top candidate.
Away from wine, Rupert is a keen runner, although even this seems to become vinous in the location of major events - he completed Marathon du Medoc (Bordeaux) in September 2007, despite stopping off at quite a few of the wine tasting stops on the circuit and the oyster tasting at the 23rd mile. He also took part in a similar event in Beaune (Burgundy) in October 2011.
Felicity Pritchett - Wordsmith & Head of Gin
Although Fliss' specialism leans towards the words rather than the wines, her years spent writing about lifestyle and interiors weren't a complete waste... It seems a decade sampling the offerings in London's bars and restaurants, press junkets and parties has given her a finely tuned palate for gins and other spirits. And indeed, not a bad one for wines, too. Never one to let a holiday get in the way of a wine tasting, Fliss has tasted her way through Bordeaux and Burgundy, as well as visiting wineries in Georgia, although she's yet to impress the buyers of Surrey with her 'Crimean Claret', smuggled back through post-Soviet lands in a sock...
Andy Mead AIWS - General Manager
Andy is our expert on the welcoming and jolly bon-viveurs that are our restaurant and pub customers - so if you're a local landlord and you'd like a new wine supplier, chat to Andy! With over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry Andy has previously worked for several years as the manager of the Loch Fyne Restaurant in Guildford as well as the Clubhouse Manager of Hurtwood Park Polo Club. Even now he puts in occasional evening behind the bar at The Richard Onslow in Cranleigh.
A keen sportsman - a qualified football referee, no less - Andy has a genuine enthusiasm and delight for all things wine. Andy holds the WSET Diploma and is well versed in the wines of Spain and Portugal.
Joe Domican - Head of Beer
As our Head of Beer, Joe keeps a keen eye on anything hoppy happening. An avid home brewer, Joe would love to one day start his own microbrewery (these days, who doesn't!?). Having previously juggled touring in a band with any real work he could find, his CV reads as a motley array of anything from working in cocktail bars... to making chocolate bars! Now comfortably settled in the friendly world of wine, he enjoys 'forking' around on the fork lift helping stow away pallets of the wine he is strenuously tasting as part of his studies for the WSET Diploma (although not at the same time!). As Joe sailed through levels one and two of the WSET courses we're sure he'll be getting those letters after his name soon!
In his spare time Joe enjoys tinkling the ivories and pretending he's relaxing on 52nd Street with his favourite jazz musicians from the 1950s.
David Webber - Adjutant General
David started his career in wine with Oddbins in 1992. He managed the branches in Sutton, Canterbury, Cannon Street, Hampstead Village, Marylebone High Street and then Pimlico before a two year stint as an Area Manager. Responsible for much of the south outside the M25, at one point he had responsibility for 25 branches from Truro to Brighton and up to Reading. The departure of the Buying Director, Steve Daniels, spelt the end of Oddbins, in David's eyes, so he moved on in 2003.
After a slight flirtation with the car industry he came back to wine, working for Davy's in Greenwich for 18 months before joining The Revelstoke Wine Company in 2006. After six enjoyable years there he joined us at Taurus and we're very glad to have him!
Ed Murphy - Drayman
Ed is more than just one of our wonderful delivery drivers (although do give him a wave if you see him out and about in one of our vans... and possibly a wide berth too...), he's also well on the way to completing the arduous WSET Diploma in 2018. When his nose isn't in a glass, you'll most likely find him on a local five-a-side footbll itch - let's hope his left foot is as strong as his Left Bank...
James McDonald - Head of Fleet
No your eyes aren't deceiving you. James is our uber reliable Head of Fleet - who just happens to be the spitting image of a younger Rupert! Hot on the heels of David as Keeper of Cigars, James has attended the esteemed Hunters & Frankau Cigar School in London, as well as National Licensee courses. Come summer, you'll usually find him propping up the hatch of our lovely vintage Citroen H Van.
Callum Edge - Tastings & Events Manager
Callum joins us having worked as a sommelier in Dubai (ask him about serving wine in teacups) and as a food & drinks journalist (ditto about having coffee with Antonio Carluccio). He'll be looking after the shiny new Enomatic machines, as well as the tastings side of things, so do get in touch to discuss anything from one-day wine courses to tutored tastings. Although Callum swore he'd never take another exam after his degree, he's starting the WSET Diploma in Spring 2018.
Rob MacCulloch MW - Consultant Wine Buyer
Rob has forgotten more about wine than we would ever hope to know. A battle scarred veteran of Oddbins (back in the days when it was good), Rob jumped out of its wreckage in 1999 to work a vintage at Montana Wines in Gisborne, New Zealand. Rob has since worked for the well respected agents Hatch Mansfield, Bibendum and Domaine Direct, handling both national accounts and independent wine shops. After some nail-biting moments, Rob passed the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examinations in September 2014, joining only 353 other folk in being an MW - an achievement put into context when you think that more people (500+) have been into orbit....
Since becoming an MW in 2014, Rob has worked in wineries in Australia, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand and California, completing four fatigue-inducing and sleep-defying grape harvests in one year. He continues to judge and write for Decanter Magazine, as well as studying (again!) for his full set of winemaking and viticulture qualifications, in his role as our buying consultant and permanently scruffy full-time student.