"A Master of Wine with over 30 years’ experience of senior level roles, my specialism lies in a deep understanding of how the global industry supply chain works. ”

Simon Thorpe MW

About me

A Master of Wine with over 30 years’ experience of senior level roles, I am a leading expert in the commercial world of wine. 

Early roles

I have held roles in a wide range of businesses. As a buyer at prestigious retailer Fortnum and Mason and Senior Buyer at Waitrose for eight years, I gained lots of experience working in partnership with wineries across the globe. I learned how best to translate and communicate the key strengths of the wineries and bring them to the market which increased sales and reputation with consumers and wine press.

Outperforming larger brands

I then turned to the brand owner and distributor side as Vice President at Constellation Europe Ltd and later Managing Director at Negociants UK Ltd. A jump to the supply side seemed natural as I was looking to build even closer relationships with producers in my career.

I took on challenges such as developing more premium routes to market and building sales team excellence and over the 15 years in these roles my teams managed to overachieve on market share, grow reputation and outperform larger brands and businesses.

Delivering serious commercial success with tight-knit and fully engaged teams was the most rewarding part of this time, closely followed by the strong bond and friendships developed with partner wineries around the world.

Bringing my network and experience to your challenge

Over the years I’ve developed a high-class network across the production, distribution and retail sectors of the industry as well as among other stakeholders, including wine education bodies, WSET and Masters of Wine. 

My specialism lies in a deep understanding of how the global industry supply chain works, right from all aspects of vineyard and winery, through distribution models and to the end route to market, whether that be large or smaller scale retail, on line or HORECA.

This means I often work on brand marketing and new product development as well as with winemakers. I get real excitement out of this ‘opportunity and solution-based work’ especially when there is good empirical based research driving the decision-making.

1992
Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma

1995
Member of the Champagne Academy

1997
Master of Wine

2000
Chevalier de Tastevin

2014 –
Paper Chair, Institute of Masters of Wine Exam, Theory Paper 4

2017 –
Trustee of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust

The power of learning

Education and training can provide huge benefits to effective commercial outcomes. Well-executed, it builds confidence in sales and marketing operations and can also boost the credentials of the organisation.

Highly connected in the world of wine education, I have been a Trustee of the WSET for the past four years. I became a Master of Wine in 1997 and have fulfilled roles on the Council as well as Education side. I took on these roles to help the Institute in its drive towards a more international and diverse membership and to give something back to all those MWs who had helped me along the way. 

I am currently heavily involved in the MW examination process. It keeps me personally very much up to date with latest trends in the international wine industry, knowledge which I can bring to partnerships and customers.

At home

In my spare time, I love to walk the dogs, watch sport with my children and visit great restaurants with my wife. I read a lot of history books and find it fascinating how the past interfaces with the present.

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