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Membership Information & Joining Criteria

N.B. If you are a Member of the Company wishing to propose a person for Membership, please click HERE for further guidance on the application process

Traditionally, young men were apprenticed to a Wine Merchant, who, when satisfied that they were competent to practice their trade, made them Freemen. As they became more senior in the Company, they became Liverymen, i.e. they were allowed to wear the Livery of the Company on important occasions. These three categories continue today.

The Freedom
There are three methods of entry into the Company as a Freeman:

  • Patrimony: Sons and daughters of members of the Company, born after their parent's admission, may join the Company by right, providing that they have reached the age of 21
  • Redemption: This is an entry route for those who do not qualify through Patrimony and is managed by the Membership Committee who will review and assess all applications.  It is generally reserved for inviting Wine Merchants to join the Company but is flexible enough to cater for all potential, exceptional candidates, regardless of profession, in the overall interests of the Company.  Candidates must be recommended by 4 Liverymen, 2 of whom must be Court Members, and who must know the candidate personally. Entry is not guaranteed."

  • Servitude: Candidates between the ages of 19-21 may be apprenticed to a practising Wine Merchant, and, after 5 years, and providing that they are joining the wine trade, will be considered for membership

Court of Binding

Once the application criteria has been met, all documents and forms received, and following successful recommendation of the Membership Committee to Court, Candidates are invited to a 'Court of Binding' at which they are 'bound' to the Company and made Freemen.  There is normally only one scheduled Court of Binding each year in January or February.

Freedom of the City of London

All new Freemen of the Vintners' Company are entitled to receive the Freedom of the City of London and more information on this process can be provided by the Membership Office.

Non-Active/Reserve: These are Liverymen and Freemen who have been removed from the active list or who are waiting to join it.

All candidates are interviewed before being invited to Company events.

The Livery
Each year, a number of Freemen are elevated, after interview, to the Livery. The Livery is divided into four groups, by age, and are invited to dinners in those groups.

Ladies are eligible for both the Freedom and Livery.

For further information regarding membership of the Company, please contact the Membership Secretary, Glenn Roberts

Current Membership
Livery Freedom
Total 354 Total 184
Active 296 Active 144
Non-Active 58 Non-Active 40

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