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Wine & Spirit International is a privately held family owned company, founded by Dale Sklar, who is a 5th generation Sklar in the spirits business. The ethos throughout the generations remains unchanged.
“Everything we do is different and engaging. For us, value is important, but quality and uniqueness is more important. We’re small enough to care and big enough to get it done; whether this is a 40’ container of Mexican spirits direct from Tequila Town or a mixed 20’ container with 30 different products.”Dale Sklar, Managing Director & Founder.
This pragmatic attitude is underpinned by a strong set of core values: trust, transparency and integrity. The business has an unrivalled heritage dating back several decades and more recently to Max Sklar, Dale’s grandfather and Stanley Sklar, Dale’s father. Over the generations, the family have managed world famous brands such as Stolichnaya, Bols and Pimm’s.
Today, the business continues to develop the global portfolio with innovation focused on the core drive brands such as Hapsburg Absinthe, Bambarria Tequila and Balkan Vodka; and growing the export business within key territories including Brazil, Paraguay, Australia, Japan and the USA.
As the Sales & Marketing Director for the family business Capital Wine & Travers, Dale formed Wine & Spirit International (WSI), which primarily focused on selling French and Italian wines.
WSI appointed UK distribution agency for J Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, extending the business from a wine broker to a spirits importer.
WSI appointed UK distribution agency for Sombrero Tequila whilst in L.A. selling Italian Wines, further emphasizing the new spirits direction of the business.
WSI created the authentic Trenet French Absinthe brand, followed by Hapsburg Absinthe, which was originally produced in Bulgaria and later moved to Italy with one of the countries largest Sambuca producers.
WSI created the famous Balkan 176˚ Vodka brand.
As part of the continuing drive to focus on the global export business, WSI was restructured to create WSI UK Ltd, which focused purely on the UK domestic market and WSI International, which managed the export business.
Tanya Sklar joined WSI as Export Director, based in Tel Aviv, and subsequently opened the Israel Export Office in 2013 to capitalise on the emerging markets in the Middle East and Pacific. Tanya becomes the 6th generation of the Sklar family in the spirits business.
WSI UK was acquired by Malcolm Cowen Drinks as part of an exclusive 25 year distribution agreement.
WSI and HT & Co Drinks, owners of Malcolm Cowen, create a brand development agency to focus on innovation, global market development and brand creation.
A selection of images from the family business where Dale Sklar was the Sales & Marketing Director before founding Wine & Spirit International.
Stanley and Terri Sklar celebrating the exclusive distribution rights for all wine and spirits from the Soviet Union into the UK. The contract also resulted in Capital Wine and Spirits supplying Scotch Whisky and Gin to the Soviet Union. Circa 1962.
The young Stanley Sklar taken in 1948 after leaving the RAF and before setting up Capital Wine and Spirits, on the advice of his father Max.
Trade Advertising in 1965 for the famous Vodka brand.
Following tradition, the 1950 price list and catalogue for Stanley Sklar.
A typical example of Max Sklar’s (Dale’s grandfather) price list and catalogue during 1957. During World War II, Max Sklar moved the business from London to Leicester following the extensive bombing and destruction of the Capital.
October 1965, Terri Sklar (background) managing a Stolichnaya in-store promotion at the premier London Department Store, Jacksons of Piccadilly.
Pimms ‘advert’ from Stanley Sklar’s catalogue. Circa 1967.
Aerial view of Capital Wine and Spirits Head Office, extracted from the company brochure in 1974.
A Capital Wine and Spirits delivery van branded with Stolichnaya. During the 1960’s, Capital Wine and Spirits employed over 20 field sales representatives and managed a fleet of 15 vehicles. Circa 1966.
Max Sklar’s store in the East End of London with the store manager. Circa 1939.