Our Story

Our Story
In 2004, after years of thought and planning, brothers Miles and Peter Lilliott left their senior city jobs and opened Cellar Door Wines on the Verulam Industrial Estate in St Albans. With boutique wine making and viticulture already being a family business in Hunter Valley, Australia, they decided that their goal should be to source great quality, affordable wine from around the globe. They would offer their trade and retail customers friendly, unpretentious advice and service. Their hard work paid off and in 2008 Cellar Door Wines was named Independent Wine Retailer of the Year in the Drinks Retailing Association Awards. The business weathered the 2008 financial crisis, but in January 2011 tragedy struck when Miles died very suddenly. Peter continued to run the shop until 2017 when he recruited Penny Edwards, a local wine expert, with many years of wine retail experience. With hard work and investment, together they built a new brand for Cellar Door Wines, bringing in a much wider and premium range of new and exciting wines and spirits, together with complementary boutique and locally sourced delicatessen products.

By 2018 the physical and online shops had been refurbished and Cellar Door once again became a wine lover’s paradise, complete with a tasting area and enomatic wine dispensing machines which always have 16 wines on taste. They encourage customers to explore new wines, develop their taste buds and push their boundaries. The wines in store are organised by style (Bold, Fruity, Silky, Crisp, Aromatic and Rich) rather than by country or grape variety to help move customers away from safe ‘supermarket’ brands.

Penny travels regularly to source wines from smaller, family owned producers for the bespoke wine club cases which are sent out monthly or quarterly to subscribers. Italy, South Africa and organic viticulture are her favourite wine subjects. In 2020, when COVID hit, Penny and Peter adapted again, by improving their website offering and increasing their local and national delivery capabilities. The winemaker and producer masterclasses that used to take place regularly in the beautiful store, now happen weekly online and Penny has discovered a new skill in virtual wine tasting facilitation! Who knows what the next few years will add to their tale?

1 comment


  • Sue Waite

    Really enjoyed the wine tasting online this evening. Great to taste English local wines.


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