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Birse-Stewart joins Berkmann’s Scottish team

Published:  30 October, 2019

Distributor Berkmann Wine Cellars has appointed Billy Birse-Stewart as consultant director.

The appointment of Birse-Stewart, formerly managing director of Wine Importers and Cockburns of Leith, is intended to strengthen Berkmann’s presence in the Scottish market.

Birse-Stewart, a former president of the Institute of Wine and Spirits Scotland, stood down from Wine Importers at the beginning of 2019 after 25 years with the company.

He will work alongside Berkmann’s on-trade sales director Fraser McGuire to drive sales through the company’s distribution network.

Rupert Berkmann, managing director of Berkmann's, said: “We take great pleasure in welcoming Billy to the Berkmann family. A key player in the Scottish wine trade and beyond, his unique experience and network will be a huge asset in helping us to achieve our growth ambitions.

“Building on the good work of Fraser and his team of dedicated account managers in Scotland, this appointment will enable us to further extend our expertise and impressive portfolio of key agency brands to our hospitality partners in Scotland.”

Birse-Stewart said: “I am delighted to join forces with Berkmann Wine Cellars. I feel compelled to lend my experience and passion, in order that Scotland has access to Berkmann’s unrivalled portfolio of award-winning wines, marketing prowess and purchasing scale.”

Founded in 1964, the family-owned distributor currently employs over 200 members of staff and has an annual turnover of £77m. Its 1,400-strong portfolio features over 250 producers including Marchesi Antinori, Château Minuty, Umani Ronchi and Champagne Drappier.

Berkmann’s has ended its distribution partnership with Wine Importers.