Tonic Wines is a small batch project that was started by two friends with similarly nerdy wine habits. Glenn is an experienced winemaker with genuinely practical skills…actually quite a lot of them. Dan’s background was in wine drinking, talking and educating and after a stint as a wine-stained cellar hand he found he knew ‘righty-tighty, lefty loosy’ but that was about it. Glenn took over full ownership and running of Tonic in 2019.

The Tonic philosophy encompasses a few simple things. First and foremost wine should be a delicious drink. It should also be a bit of fun and enjoyed with good friends in a riotous or relaxed setting. Also both Sherry and American football are way cooler than most people give them credit for. 

Glenn doesn't really believe in boring wine. It’s a waste of time for your senses and deprives you of a memorable experience. Don’t short change yourself; life is too short. Only drink wine that makes you want to have a second glass.


Why Tonic?

The name Tonic is a playful nod to the apothecaries, spice merchants, botanists and dark arts healers of yesteryear. And when we say yesteryear we mean waaay yester. It was in 1624 that King James I of England, recognizing the unique skill of apothecaries, granted them their own corporation thereby distinguishing them from merchants of bulk, or gross, goods like spices and herbs. This latter group became the Worshipful Company of Grocers (from ‘gros’).

And so the makers and suppliers of curious and mysterious tonics, some of which worked and some of which were pure fancy, gained strength in numbers and in organisation. As you can imagine, the church wasn't that impressed with this sort of individual thinking so it wasn't always an easy road. We heartily salute this spirit of discovery, of experimentation and of courage in the face of overbearing orthodoxy.

Wine is a wonderful natural drink. It inspires and nourishes us in equal measure. Every day, all over the wine world, grape growers and winemakers practise new ideas and techniques or revive ancient ones in their quest to make delicious wines. Tonic is a miniscule part of that and it feels good.