Our History

Friarwood is an independent fine wine and spirit merchant with an exceptional selection and a personalised approach to both wholesale and retail. We have two London shops, one in Parsons Green and one in Wimbledon Village.

Founded in 1967, Friarwood Wines & Spirits has a long and storied history as a family-run business. Our team are wine and spirits experts who have come together to bring the best wines and spirits of the world to the UK.

Our relationships in the wine and spirits world are decades old. We establish long-lasting relationships with our producers, and have a deep connection with some of the most famous regions from Bordeaux to Tuscany and beyond. Learn more about our incredible history and our founding in the heart of Parsons Green, London.

1967 - 1999

Friarwood Fine Wines was founded by Peter Bowen in 1967, leveraging his deep-rooted connections and experiences with the Chateaux's of Bordeaux. Starting in Sand's End, his vision was to bring the finest Bordeaux wines to London and the broader UK market. Peter would deliver his wine on a horse until he could afford a car.

Quickly establishing itself as a prominent importer, Friarwood became one of the largest importers of Bordeaux wines into the UK. The company gained an exclusive distribution partnership with many renowned estates, becoming a crucial supplier to top-tier restaurants and hotels across Britain.

Within a short period after its establishment, Friarwood moved its operations to a more permanent location in Parsons Green in 1971 where we still reside to this day. Originally a bakery, Peter transformed the building into a private venue for trade tastings, catering exclusively to industry professionals and connoisseurs.

Friarwood's Original Branding and Letterheads

1999 - 2007

Responding to growing interest and the desire to reach a wider audience, Friarwood opened its doors to the public in the late 90's. This pivotal move allowed everyday wine lovers access to high-quality, expertly curated wines previously available only to the trade.

It was during this time that Friarwood became one of the largest suppliers of wine to the UK trade with clients like the Rules restaurant, the Dorchester and Ritz Hotels, Annabelle's and Pennyhill Park. Friarwood would also become know for selling wine to British Airways and the Concorde as well as private yachts and cruises.

In 2003, Friarwood expanded its footprint beyond London by opening a new shop in Edinburgh. This strategic move was driven by the growing demand for fine wines in Scotland and the desire to tap into a new market. Edinburgh, with its rich cultural heritage and sophisticated palate for fine dining and luxury products, was the perfect location for Friarwood's expansion.

Sadly, the location was shut down in 2007 to refocus efforts on the London market. However, during this time the Friarwood portfolio expanded to Italian, Spanish and New World Wines.

2010 - 2015

2010 is when Ben Carfagnini joins Friarwood, after moving to London from Canada, turning his back on a previous career as a landscape architect. He initially took an unpaid internship role, and as his passion for wine grew, Ben decided to pursue an MBA in Bordeaux.

After completing his studies in 2014, Ben was welcomed back to Friarwood, taking over the on-trade sales side of the business.

Sadly, Peter's health began to decline and following his death, the Bowen family were keen to see Ben take on the business. 

2015 - 2024

Ben Carfagnini officially took over Friarwood in 2015 and began expanding the business. The team is now 18 people strong - we have a modern online store, a second retail location in Wimbledon Village and over 200 on-trade clients.

Despite modernising, Friarwood is still very much in touch with its heritage. We continue to cherish our long standing relationships with distinguished producers in Bordeaux and Burgundy, but have since expanded our portfolio to include talented, independent producers from across the old and new world.

With the help of our Head Buyer Auriane D'Aramon, Friarwood has expanded its portfolio to include wines from Italy, South Africa, Australia and the USA. Friarwood is firmly poised to take advantage of its rich heritage in the wine industry while still maintaining a keen eye on the future and the ever changing landscape.

Friarwood Wines Patrice Parsons Green