Contributors

Simon Berry

Simon Berry joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1977; 10 years later he became Marketing Director and has been a board member since 1994. He was made Deputy Chairman in November 2002 and became chairman three years later in 2005. Before joining the company, Simon spent two years working in France for various wine producers including Moët & Chandon in Champagne, M. Chapoutier in the Rhône, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux and Prosper Maufoux in Burgundy.

Simon was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in 1979 and the Diploma of the British Institute of Marketing in 1983. He is on the Council of the Wine & Spirits Trade Benevolent Society, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners and a member of the Académie du Champagne. He is also the Clerk of the Royal Cellars and the holder of the Royal Warrant of Appointment as wine merchant to HRH the Prince of Wales. Simon has lectured on wine on many occasions, and to many institutions throughout the UK and his articles have been published in several magazines, notably Vogue, Debrett’s International Collector and The Economist Review of the Year.

He has also contributed to many television and radio programmes. Simon is married to Lucy and has two stepchildren Clarissa and Charlie and two Labrador dogs. In his spare time, Simon loves watching Chelsea play football and is an avid theatre fan.

Posts by Simon Berry

SimonField

Simon joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1998, having spent several misguided but lucrative years working as a Chartered Accountant in the City. His passion for opera and travel is well suited to buying trips down the Rhône and into the darker recesses of Andalucía.

In addition to buying the Languedoc and fortified ranges, Simon is also responsible for purchasing wines from Provence, South West France and England. His three favourite areas of responsibility, however, are the Rhône Valley, Champagne and Spain, where he is in the process of building the already impressive range.

He gained his Master of Wine qualification in October 2002.

Posts by Simon Field MW

JasperMorris

Jasper Morris MW developed a reputation as a leading authority on Burgundy while running his own importing business, Morris & Verdin Ltd from 1981 to 2003, at which point he sold the company to Berry Bros. & Rudd. He continues to work for Berry Bros. as Burgundy Buyer.

Jasper has been a Master of Wine since 1985, was responsible for all the Burgundian entries in the Oxford Companion to Wine and contributes frequently to The World of Fine Wine Magazine, among other publications. He also lectures internationally on Pinot Noir in general and Burgundy in particular.

Though a frequent visitor to the principal Pinot Noir growing countries of the world, Jasper now mainly divides his time between the UK and Burgundy.

His reputation as a Burgundy expert was further enhanced in October 2010 with the publication of Inside Burgundy, a lifetime’s study of the vineyards and vignerons of the region, which has subsequently won the prestigious André Simon award for the best wine book of the year. The first two electronic instalments, Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, are now also available as eBooks on iPads.

Posts by Jasper Morris MW

DavidBerryGreen

David Berry Green is a Berry Bros. & Rudd wine buyer and Italian wine expert, and represents the eighth generation of family members to work at the firm. David grew up interested in wine – in particular the culture surrounding it – and worked in France learning about winemaking for two years after leaving school. However, he left the vineyards to study business in the early 1990s. Discovering that he missed the wine world, David joined Berry Bros. & Rudd on the shop floor as a Shop Assistant in the Heathrow store, and has never looked back.

During his early years at Berry Bros. & Rudd, David worked for the spirits side of the company, as a regional manager for Cutty Sark, and with the website team before becoming a Wine Buyer in 2001. This appointment enabled him to pursue his passion for wine. During his career he has bought wines for the company from Burgundy, Spain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, California and Hungary, and he continues to source from the Loire, Alsace, Austria and Germany.

In particular though, David had always been intrigued by Italian wines and their unfulfilled potential, but had never visited the country until a trip to visit friends in the early 1990s. In his own words, he experienced a “Damascene moment” when opening a bottle of 1989 Barolo: “I remember thinking ‘this is fantastic, why don’t we do more with these wines?’ I realised that there was something special & classical in Italy, on a par with France’s finest.”  Citing the close relationship of Jasper Morris, who joined the company in 2003, with Burgundy, David realised that “I could only do this properly by living there.”

Over the past 20 years, David says that he has witnessed a change in the Italian wine scene. “Wines with a high alcohol content, international punch and soaring price points that had been produced in the late ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s lost their allure, as producers up and down the peninsula turned again to indigenous grapes, valuing their terroir and traditions. This heralded a return to elegance.”

In 2009, David journeyed to the Langhe, the region in Piedmont that is home to Barolo, the grape behind the majestic Barolo and Barbaresco wine styles. There, in the village of Serralunga, he met Davide Rosso, of producer Giovanni Rosso, and was inspired by his wines. David feels that this meeting was fate: “I always follow my nose, and I felt that it had led me to Serralunga to meet Davide.” He moved to Serralunga shortly after this encounter, to better observe and understand the changes in Italian fine wine and in order to buy the finest and truest examples for Berry Bros. & Rudd’s customers.

David now lives in Barolo, where he is in constant contact with the local producers. His favourite part of the job is identifying, nurturing and bringing to the market truly fine authentic Italian wines, made by producers “who are doing the right thing”. David sees himself as the bridge between the right producers and the right customers. He places a premium on understanding the context in which the wines are made, which allows him to help producers to grow through their relationship with Berry Bros. & Rudd.

Posts by David Berry Green

Rebecca Lamonte

Rebecca joined us in 2000 following a career in music teaching at Warwick Academy in Bermuda. She now manages the Berry Bros. & Rudd Wine School, Tastings, Dinners and Food & Wine matching events. Rebecca is passionate about wine education because it encompasses so many fascinating subjects which interconnect and have relevance to individuals: sensory perception, history, innovation, tradition, art, health, geography, geology, biology and chemistry, to name but a few.

She is convinced that everyone can be an excellent taster, especially with the delicious range of wines at Berry Bros., and she encourages you to learn through taste. She sees this as her mission when you attend our Wine School. Rebecca is also dedicated to bringing together the talents of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s many gifted experts to share their profound knowledge of great wine throughout the schedule of ticket events.

Posts by Rebecca Lamont

Maxlalondrelle

Max Lalondrelle was born in the south west of France, where his parents made Armagnac. After a degree in Wine Sales and Marketing in Bordeaux, he came to England in 1993. Max worked first as a Sommelier at the Michelin starred ‘Le Gourmet’ restaurant in Bristol, and then as the Manager of a wine shop in Berkshire, before joining Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2000 as Retail Sales Team Manager.

Since 2002 Max has worked in fine wine, and was appointed Bordeaux Buyer in 2007. Max has worked as Fine Wine Buying Director since 2011, and continues to be responsible for Bordeaux.

Max sources all of the fine wine and Bordeaux requirements for the Berry Bros. & Rudd group, including in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan: representing between £35 and £70 million worth of purchases a year, depending on vintage. His job includes building relationship with suppliers and wineries to acquire and preserve the best allocation of the finest wines. He loves both buying and selling fine wine, and believes that a good buyer should also be a good salesman. Max says: “I love both sides and believe that a good buyer should be a good salesman; making sure the correct stock is bought but also taking satisfaction in seeing it sold.”

Max is committed to getting the best deals, and aims to ensure that the wines he buys will also be a joy for the sales team to sell. “I love to create a buzz in the office. They all call me ‘Frenchy’ and say I only like French wines, which is only partly true!”

Posts by Max Lalondrelle

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Demetri Walters MW, Sales Manager of our Private Wine Events team, joined the company in 2001.

The seeds of Demetri’s long-standing appreciation of wine were sown young: “My grandfather in Cyprus had vineyards,” he recalls, “and I remember as a child walking through them, and how romantic and fascinating it was.” This appreciation of both the emotive nature of wine, and also the mud-on-boots aspect of viticulture inspires Demetri’s vinous interest to this day.

Despite his early grounding in wine, Demetri’s route into the trade was an unconventional one, coming to us via a brief stint in the army, a spell in Australia working as a jackaroo, a degree in property surveying and also a number of years in new media, and head-hunting in that industry. “However, I knew my real interest and enthusiasm lay with wine,” says Demetri, “and I was looking for an excuse to make a break into the industry. Sometimes, life leads you – and a company I was working for went bust: it was the prompt I needed.”

Having joined the firm more than a decade ago, Demetri recalls Berry Bros. & Rudd’s fledgling Private Events business: “It was all great fun, though rather less professional than it is today. Now, the emphasis is far more on our expertise: we are able to talk to our customers with such conviction, and the level of authority we possess really is second to none. Add to that the exceptional service and food, and you see what a remarkable experience we are offering.”

Demetri was made a Master of Wine in 2013, his thesis for which brought him back to his formative interest in Cypriot wine. “I really like to champion the wines of Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as fortified wines, and evangelise about our small but pretty Hellenic wine selection,” he says. “My role here is diverse. I am principally an educator at our Private Wine Events but also at our Wine School and Brochure Events. Additionally I have a commercial role as a wine advisor. I enjoy that combination of developing our clients’ horizons both academically and practically, helping them develop their wine knowledge and broadening their confidence when purchasing wine. I also have a role in representing the company through our various media, as well via external televisual, online and print media. Ultimately, the main thing that the MW has taught me is objectivity and how much there is still to learn.”

Posts by Demetri Walters MW

KatieCooper

Katie joined the wine trade after university, working for Majestic Wine for five years where she gained the Diploma in Wine, a passion for all things vinous and a well-exercised palate.

In 2007, she joined Berry Bros. as a wine advisor, becoming the Wine Club Manager in 2008.

As Club Manager, Katie has discovered a new raison d’etre: to improve the Club and ensure that every member thoroughly enjoys their time in the Club. She introduced the monthly Club e-newsletter and blog and enjoys meeting the members at the tastings and events she organises.

Wine is not just work for Katie: holidays are often based upon visiting different wineries around the world and trying out the local wine with regional dishes.

Nick Pegna

Nicholas Pegna joined Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Fine Wine Broking Department in 1998. He became Director of Sales of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s business in Hong Kong at its inception in 1999 and Managing Director in 2004. He joined the wine trade in 1993 and since that date has worked in several areas of the business including wine retailing, wholesaling and fine wine broking.

He has also travelled extensively in the wine-producing regions of the world including France, Germany, Italy and Australia and has written a monthly wine column for a French lifestyle magazine, “Living France”. As well as his responsibilities on the management front, Nicholas is also part of a small team which buys the new Bordeaux vintage every year for Berry Bros. & Rudd globally.

Nicholas was appointed Commandeur D’Honneur de L’Ordre du Bontemps, Medoc et Graves – Sauternes & Barsac, in June 2005 in Bordeaux, in recognition of services to Bordeaux and Chevalier de Tastevins in Burgundy in December 2006.

Posts by Nicholas Pegna

Simon Staples

Simon Staples spent his post-school years hacking through jungles, trekking through deserts and exploring the remotest parts of the world. When the wanderlust was satisfied he returned and took up his next great passion: wine.

He was a sommelier at many top restaurants before beginning an illustrious sales career in 1989, running Harrods’ wine department.

In 1996 he joined Berry Bros. & Rudd as Assistant Fine Wine Manager. Simon has been very fortunate as his job has allowed him to taste many legendary wines. He loves St Juliens and Pauillacs, and top Premier and Grand Crus from the Côte de Nuits. Possibly because of his travelling he likes to think of himself as ‘the Indiana Jones of the wine trade’.

Posts by Simon Staples

Adam Bilbey

Adam started his career at Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2000 working at the Heathrow airport shop. After progressing to the London Shop, he took a brief sojourn to Australia working under the late Dr Bailey Carrodus at Yarra Yering Vineyards.

Learning many facets of winemaking and vineyard management (and crashing one too many tractors), Adam felt the motherland calling and moved back to the UK and started working in the Fine Wine Department. In 2010 Adam moved to Hong Kong and he is still there today, enjoying the whirlwind that is Hong Kong life. Although enjoying wines from all over the world, personal favourites are Pinot Noir, in particular the wines from Chambolle-Musigny, and the wines from Germany, particularly a Spatlese on a muggy Hong Kong evening. Adam is now Sales Director for our new Hong Kong Business.

Posts by Adam Bilbey

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Those of you who have had the pleasure of a lunch or dinner at our St James’s HQ will know the calibre of head chef Stewart’s fine-dining food. In his six years at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Stewart has steadily built up the kitchen, drawing on his background in world-class and Michelin-starred restaurants such as Michel Roux’s Waterside, Michel Bourdin’s Connaught and Gravetye Manor.

Though his childhood ambition was to be an airline pilot, it wasn’t long before Stewart’s culinary vocation became clear: at school while his peers were trying to bake fairy cakes, he could be found putting the finishing touches to a sole bonne femme. These days, Stewart feeds his love of food by taking in as many restaurant visits as possible – recent highlights include Tom Sellers’ Story and The Hambrough on the Isle of Wight.

In his recipes for the Berry Bros. Blog, Stewart aims to show just how good simple ingredients can be – especially when served with the right bottle of wine.

Posts by Stewart Turner

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Ronnie, our spirits specialist, has whisky in his bloodline: six generations of his family have been involved in producing and selling the famed Scottish export.

He began his formal involvement with the industry working for The Distillers Company Ltd in 1974, later joining Berry Bros. & Rudd. In 2003, he became Director of The Glenrothes and now represents this singular single-malt whisky across the globe.

Ronnie is a Master of the Quaich and Member of the Committee of the Keepers of the Quaich and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and was voted the Ambassador of the Year for Scotland 2008 and then World Whisky Ambassador of 2008. He is married with two children. He enjoys all sports. He calls an aeroplane “home” but lives in England.

Posts by Ronnie Cox


Anne McHale MW

Wine Education Specialist

Anne was born and raised in Belfast, and went to Cambridge to complete a degree in French and Latin. After graduating, she joined London-based French wine agency Mistral Wines, before working as a Marketing Assistant at the UK office of New Zealand Winegrowers. Anne joined Berry Bros. & Rudd as a temp for two weeks – that was in 2006, and she has never been allowed to leave.

Anne started at Berry Bros. & Rudd assisting Rebecca Lamont with the Wine School and administration for events. When her role became permanent, she worked as the Wine School Administrator for four years, becoming gradually more involved in presenting events and tutoring at the Wine School. She is now a Wine Education Specialist, a role suited to her passion for wine education and her five years of study for the Master of Wine qualification. In 2013, Anne became Berry Bros. & Rudd’s most recent recipient of the coveted title of Master of Wine.

As a Wine Education Specialist, Anne hosts ticketed luncheons and dinners, as well as tutoring evening tastings and wine schools. As a qualified instructor, Anne also tutors candidates for the WSET qualifications. Increasingly, Anne is becoming one of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s better-known faces. She recently appeared on a selection of in-flight videos for Virgin Atlantic explaining Berry Bros. & Rudd’s selection of wines available in flight.

Anne loves teaching wine appreciation to people and seeing knowledge and confidence sink in. She says that she most enjoys helping people to discover an exceptional wine that they hadn’t heard of before, or debunk a myth about a wine style to show its true potential. Anne finds that working at events for the Wine School allows her to meet interesting, convivial people with a common interest in great wine and great food.

At Cambridge, Anne was a choral scholar, but would love to use her talents to sing more modern pieces. She says: “It is my secret desire to learn to sing in a more jazzy or show-tune style and perform in a musical.” Alongside her work, Anne is learning to speak Italian, which she took up because of her love of Italian wine and food.

Posts by Anne McHale


Ben Upjohn

Fine Wine 

Ben started working for Berry Bros. & Rudd at the age of 15, in the cellars of No.3, during his Christmas holidays. After leaving school he went to Oddbins for a couple of years and then joined us permanently in 2001 in the London Shop before moving into the Fine Wine Team in 2005. He has a passion for Bordeaux and Burgundy, but also enjoys wines from New Zealand. In his spare time he enjoys country pursuits and photography.

Posts by Ben Upjohn


Chris Pollington

Fine Wine 

Originally joining Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1997 working in the Heathrow Airport shop, Chris has also worked in our Internet and Telesales departments before joining the Fine Wine team in 2007. Chris’s great passion is for the wines of Italy, hosting dinners and wine schools on the subject, but he also admits to a soft spot for the great wines of Burgundy.

Posts by Chris Pollington


Geordie Willis

Brand Director

“My introduction to fine wine was carrying it, not drinking it,” explains our Brand Director, Geordie Willis. “As a family member, people are often under the impression that I would have been weaned on the likes of ’45 Mouton, but this was far from the case.” In fact, Geordie’s path through the business began – quite literally – at the bottom, when he started work in the London cellars as an 18-year-old. “At the time, I did it purely to make pocket money, but it was impossible not to be taken in by the magic of it all,” he says.

Having left the firm for a number of years to work in a design agency, Geordie returned to Berry Bros. & Rudd to take up a position in the Hong Kong office. His timing was judicious, as tax had just been removed from wine.  “Hong Kong became the wine hub of Asia overnight,” Geordie says. “It was the place to be in the wine world – the most exciting bar none.” Immersed in the local food and drink scene, and with fantastic travel opportunities, Geordie would happily have remained in Asia – but four years later in 2012 he was called home to take the brand image in hand.

Working alongside design agency, Pentagram, Geordie looked to Berry Bros. & Rudd’s past in order to evolve its future aesthetic. “It has been a very interesting journey,” Geordie says. “The re-branding needed to feel genuine and so it was essential that nothing should be invented. In fact, the process was more one of a self-discovery. Everything from finding the original shade of green for the shop-front to resurrecting a logo from the early-twentieth century has meant that we were able to start telling our own story.”

Posts by Geordie Willis


Vicky Williams

PR Manager

After leaving university with a degree in Journalism, Vicky became a newspaper reporter. After five years, Vicky decided to leave behind a life of parish council meetings and school fetes and move into PR, and it was The Vineyard at Stockcross – a five-star hotel with a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Berkshire, which sparked Vicky’s passion for wine. Joining us as PR Executive in October 2004, Vicky now manages the company’s PR strategy for the UK and Hong Kong.

Posts by Vicky Williams


Rob Whitehead

Spirits Buyer

Rob started with Berry Bros. & Rudd in March 2006, initially working at the Heathrow Airport shop. After moving to No.3, his passion for spirits which first blossomed during his university days in Oxford, came to the fore. Rob’s Yorkshire roots reveal a keen eye for value, and he enjoys exploring some of the more obscure spirits and wines of the world. That being said, he keeps returning to red Burgundies, the whites of Alsace and Germany, Jamaican and Demerara rums and, of course, Scotch whiskies.

Posts by Rob Whitehead


Emily Miles

Content Manager

Emily joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2013, in something of a career sidestep. Having previously worked as a copy editor and writer for magazines such as Esquire and Men’s Health, as well as a freelance drinks writer, she elected to swap the bright lights of Soho for more stately streets of St James’s in a bid to immerse herself more fully in all things wine and spirits.

In her roles as Content Manger, Emily edits the Berry Bros. & Rudd blog, as well as helping to produce a multitude of literature and communication for the company. “From the buyers on the ground in the vineyards, to the Masters of Wine in the classroom, Berry Bros. is a fantastic place to find expert-led stories,” Emily says. “The staff here understand every inch of the wine trade, so if you want to write news about the industry – from the most exciting emerging regions to the best wines in which to invest, there’s no better place to work.”

If you have any thoughts on how Emily can improve the Blog, or if there are stories you would like to see, email her at emily.miles@bbr.com.

Posts by Emily Miles