From the foundation of the Company in 1985 and the opening of our Stone Wine Shop in 1996 it has never been our intention to make Touchstone Wines slick, upmarket or fashionable. There are already far too many of those kinds of shops where you feel you ought to be wearing a tie or designer t-shirt and jeans. Our aim is to help open up the world of wine to the greatest number of people possible not to further the old badge of exclusivity. Our intention has been to replicate a visit to a “caviste” in France with all their quirkiness and the cornerstone of one-to-one transmission of enthusiasm for particular wines. With the walk down into the Shop and the archway into the Cellar area (where we conduct our Tastings) many people remark that they feel as if they are actually at a Domaine itself rather than a “caviste” (though this would, we hasten to say, not be a lofty Chateau but more a peasant producer). There is low lighting and a cellar temperature lack of heating because that is what our bottles of wine prefer. As a customer you may need to wear an extra sweater when visiting us in winter or you might decide to call in to cool yourself down on a hot summer day. The shop is much bigger inside than it appears from out (the word “tardis” is sometimes overheard). There are wines at every possible price from £3.50 upwards. There is almost inevitably something to taste and try and it’s already open waiting to be poured into your glass. We believe in old fashioned shopping where conversation and advice and fetching and loading all have an indispensable place. There are no shopping trolleys but many of our customers are very very good friends. Others are becoming so.