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Harpers' 30 Under 30 winners announced

Published:  06 June, 2022

What a couple of years the trade has had. What ups and downs. During the worst months of Covid, we’re sure there are some who felt a bit like Midas’s barber in the ancient tales. Forced under pain of death to keep his master’s secret – that the former Greek king was hiding a pair of donkey’s ears beneath his hat – the unfortunate barber was only able to vent by taking himself to a bed of reeds and screaming that the king had, indeed, become part-ass.

Here at Harpers we have found our own ways of venting. At times, we’ve also felt like screaming into the abyss, wondering where we go from here; and – like many others – we’ve also then taken a step back to determine the best way to emerge from the struggles of the past few years stronger and better than before.

The conclusion we reached was that there has never been a better time to put the focus on the longevity of the trade than by celebrating the up-and-coming generation – those younger members who have held a torch for many businesses during Covid’s worst blackouts.

In many cases, it is their energy and their enterprising approach that has shored up businesses, with the enthusiasm of younger staff members forming the foundation for recovery. And so, we set out to ask the trade to nominate its best and brightest, with eligibility resting with those who were 29 years old or under at the time of entry. The response we had in our inaugural year was staggering, with such a high calibre of entries that all should take reaching the nomination stage as a great achievement. As this list will hopefully show, the younger generation is now more varied, focused and hungry than ever before. We hope the trade will join us in congratulating everyone who made it on to this year’s list. We hope it is something we can continue next year and in the years to come.

Note on the London Wine Fair: Don’t forget to come along to our 30 Under 30-themed panel discussion at the Olympia tomorrow, Tuesday 7 June, 3pm, in the Discovery Zone, where judges and champions will unite on the panel to discuss building the industry of tomorrow.


After canvassing the trade for nominations, we invited candidates to submit evidence on six sets of criteria: Leadership, Commitment, Communication, Education, Innovation and Sustainability. Judging then took place in two separate groups to ensure fairness, with champions in outstanding areas of achievements agreed across the two judging groups.

Ages are listed at the time of nomination.


Rachel Webster, WSET, business development director

Miles Beale, WSTA, CEO

Regine Lee MW, Liberty Wines, head of operations

Rob Cooke, Majestic Wines, CCO

Michael Saunders, C&C Group, head of partnerships

Diana Rollan, D&D London, group head of beverage

Judging chair, Jo Gilbert, Harpers, deputy editor


Fuchsia Adamthwaite, 29

Director & co-founder, Adega Wine Cellar

Adamthwaite embodied the many qualities of leadership for our judges. After being made redundant due to the pandemic, she hit the accelerator on her objective to build a commercially successful wine business in a central UK location. A first year in profit and growth has since passed, with more than 150 different wines from 13 countries spanning a vegan, vegetarian, organic, low-sugar, zero-alcohol and eco-friendly portfolio, sold predominantly in the Midlands area. Her company’s key tenets under the Adega header – Approachability, Diversity, Education, a Global mindset and All-Inclusive – are surely a roadmap for success in 2022 and beyond.

She is also on a mission to “better connect” the UK with the global wine industry. High-profile media spots include an interview on BBC Radio on the topic of how wine is perceived by British consumers. She is also involved with the London-based group Women in Wine, which aims to offer support at all levels of the industry.


Tommy Grimshaw, 25

Head winemaker at Langham Wine Estate and founder of Emerging Vines

“A star already” was the consensus of the panel for this self-starting winemaker and entrepreneur. At the age of just 25, Grimshaw was a shoo-in for the Commitment accolade for his dedication to the wine industry, which has spilled over from his winemaker role at Langham Wine Estate to his Emerging Vines business, a small but growing online outfit which is focused on ‘democratising’ the wine sector. As a passion project which Grimshaw works on outside of his day job, Emerging Vines has pushed boundaries in numerous ways. At Langham, he has been involved with the creation of England’s first sparkling wine on tap in the form of a Col Fondo fizz in Key Keg, a ‘fun and affordable’ way to get people drinking English wine.


Nicola Graham, 29

Head of content, Liv-ex

Well known to many via her role at Liv-ex, Graham has proven herself to be an adept communicator both internationally and in the UK. More recently, she collaborated with the Financial Times on several articles which aimed to educate both consumers and the trade on the fine wine market, while also becoming strategically involved in policy communication via Liv-ex’s executive team, where she collaborated with the WSTA on issues surrounding VI-1s and upcoming duty changes.

After completing her WSET Diploma in 2021, Graham also continued to develop her skills by taking part in the Drinks Trusts’ mentoring scheme, while also taking the lead on Liv-ex’s annual en primeur campaign.


Tiffany Vernon, 27

Digital marketing & content assistant, Tanners Wines

In this category, judges were looking not only for formal education, but for self-starters who take a proactive role in furthering their own understanding of the industry through a strong connection with and passion for wine. As well as gaining her WSET Diploma, Vernon has greatly broadened her horizons by organising educational visits in her spare time, with stamps to France, Italy, Greece and Australia and a sabbatical in 2018 to assist with the harvest at Château Palmer, Bordeaux, all in her wine passport.

Judges were also particularly impressed by her work to mentor others with their WSET studies and to achieve their goals, through regularly running internal staff training sessions at Tanners Wines HQ, including blind tastings, marking tasting notes and providing feedback.


Liz Fall, 28

Assistant innovation manager, Accolade Wines

During her time at Accolade, Fall has put her stamp on the market through the creation of several sustainability focused projects, which mark her out as a leader in innovative and sustainable development. This includes launching Vino Societa, a BiB which contains the volume of two 75cl glass bottles, yet is up to 80% lighter. She has also spearheaded several waste management focused blue-sky projects, such as working to turn PET liner into 3D printing filament to repair parts of the company’s production lines and printing stationary for its offices. Designing the artwork of 52 unique designs for Echo Falls is a high point too, which led to significant increases in digital interactions alongside sales.


Guy Wardrop, 25

Co-founder, Precision Spirits

Extensive research into the environmental impact of glass versus aluminium, while also applying his chemical engineering background to in-depth data analysis, all helped to put Wardrop at the top of the sustainability pile. As an entrepreneur, Wardrop has shown real commitment to improving his company’s circular economy model, with all ingredients purchased locally, from fruit shops and colleagues in the spirits trade. The end-to-end sustainability drive is continued all the way through the process, with spent botanicals adding to the business’s garden compost.

Shane McHugh, 29

Group wine buyer, Goodman Restaurant Holdings

As well as holding a senior role within Goodman, McHugh has demonstrated he is passionate about wine by pushing outside of his key role, for example by participating in podcasts and working closely with the California Wine Institute where he has contributed written content for its campaign. He has also been involved with creating his own training and development programmes for staff.

Mathilda Hill-Smith, 27

Brand manager, Berry Bros & Rudd

A savvy and ambitious brand manager, Hill-Smith has made her mark in repackaging and relaunching heritage brand the King’s Ginger for a new generation, with the focus on building a lifestyle brand with a digital-first strategy. Outside of Berry Bros & Rudd, Hill-Smith has been working with her father, Michael Hill-Smith MW, as a trustee for the Corked Travel Scholarship – an exchange programme and scholarship focused on young wine and food talent from the UK and Australia, due to launch later this year.

Romané Basset, 22

Co-founding trustee & funding coordinator, The Gérard Basset Foundation

Basset is already carving an impressive name for himself within the industry as funding coordinator for The Gérard Basset Foundation, set up in his late father’s name. He is also immersing himself in the sommelier world, with plaudits including helping to establish the United Kingdom Sommelier Academy, the new official ASI affiliate in the UK, as by-laws coordinator for the group.

Richard Bracken, 27

On-trade sales manager, Milestone Wines

Formerly a head sommelier at Michelin-starred Askham Hall, Bracken has developed a reputation for backing winning horses as they land in the UK. As well as admiring his keen eye for what will work well in this market, judges particularly liked the way he used marketing campaigns to help shield the business during the worst of Covid, as well as leading a project to revitalise Milestone Wines’ warehouse operation – a project which led to the creation of a new website and online ordering system after he identified a gap in the company’s wholesale business.

Holly Plumeridge, 28

Head of off-trade sales, Alliance Wine

Having picked up her WSET Level 2 before even entering the wine business, Plumeridge has ridden her love of all things wine and vine to a top-tier sales position within the trade. Of particular note is her work to identify alternative routes to market for Alliance, which then translated to sustainable growth opportunities for the off-trade. She has also helped to grow the conversation around diversity and communication within the industry by lending her considerable skills to initiatives such as Black Wine Professionals, Drinklusive, Be Inclusive Hospitality, and The Drinks Business Diversity Survey with Jancis Robinson, Mags Janjo and Gus Gluck, where she was responsible for data analysis.

Ellen Doggett, 28

Sales & marketing manager, The Sourcing Table

Having taken on her first head sommelier role at just 24, Doggett has successfully leveraged her experience at some of the UK’s top restaurants into a high-flying career at Indigo Wine’s online retail arm, The Sourcing Table. With a broad remit, Doggett still manages to find time to embrace areas of development beyond her day-to-day, including running The Sourcing Table’s private client tastings across a wide range of topics, such as Alternatives to Chardonnay. She has also tested her presenting skills alongside the business’s Instagram account, where she acted as the creative impetus behind a series of tasting videos with Harpers’ contributor Jamie Goode.

Olivia Yelf, 28

Senior brand manager, Marussia Beverages UK

As senior brand manager for more than 15 brands in the Marussia portfolio, Yelf stood out for also taking on the mantle of social media manager for the business as a personal project – a move that managed to help revitalise the business’s channels which fell dormant at the beginning of lockdown. Since joining from a former role at Pernod Ricard UK in mid-2021, she has developed a robust corporate social strategy and continues to build equity for the company’s brands, both on and offline.

Lucy Dallyn, 24

Assistant manager, Taurus Wines

Promoted to the role of assistant manager within a year of joining, Dallyn has proved herself to be an integral part of Taurus’s independent, family run business. Her creativity spans the company’s Instagram feeds, marketing campaigns and in-store displays, where she has helped to extend the business’s reach to a wider audience.

Aaran Eccles, 29

Retail & customer storage manager & private house sales, Tanners Wines

Having recently completed his WSET Diploma, where he focused his university dissertation on the ancient fine wine trade in the Roman Empire, Eccles’s strong personal interest in wine runs throughout his achievements. At Tanners, he currently manages a team of eight staff at the flagship retail store and has played a pivotal role in opening a smaller tasting venue in the Shrewsbury premises to allow customers to broaden their vinous horizons.

Kieran Lyons, 24

London account manager, Ten Locks

Having immersed himself in the bar industry within a short space of time, Lyons has proven himself to be an enthusiastic member of the Ten Locks team. Whether it’s hosting a UK roadshow for a tequila brand or brokering new listings with accounts such as Flight Club, Mildred’s and Club Mexicana, Lyons continues to make his mark.

Ben Robertson Petrie, 21

Wine advisor, St Andrews Wine Company

In the pipeline to become a strong future communicator, Robertson Petrie took his love of Burgundy wine forwards during lockdown by creating his own collaborative online blog, where he has interviewed producers from across the region. A podcast, also established in early 2020, is now streaming on Spotify, while Robertson Petrie has become a familiar face at St Andrews Wine Company’s The Tasting Note series, now almost on its 100th episode.

William Stephens, 29

Wine category manager, Nectar Imports

Stephens established himself as one to watch following the Asahi Europe acquisition of the Nectar and Fullers Beer and Wine wholesaling business, where he led a full restructure during the integration process. With two separate portfolios and 573 wines to merge, Stephens stood out for his ability to grow sales while stripping out duplication and introducing a number of new exclusives.

William Protheroe, 27

Price list & product data manager, Liberty Wines

Having improved efficiency at previous employer FMV by introducing a ‘one-click’ system, Protheroe is now making his mark at Liberty Wines.

When he is not upgrading software for the company’s price lists or streamlining online allocations, Protheroe can also be found organising and hosting formal trade tastings, which has also grown his interest in investing in wine produced in the UK.

Georgia Townend, 27

Senior buyer, Charles Taylor Wines

Townend demonstrated keen leadership skills and a calmness under pressure during lockdown, when it became increasingly difficult to find and ship stock quickly for the wine trade. She is currently working towards her WSET Diploma, with hopes of one day enrolling in the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Alexander A. Lushnikov, 29

Partner, director & chief operating officer, Liquid Icons, and The Gérard Basset Foundation

A Russian-British entrepreneur, Lushnikov made the jump from the world of fintech in 2017 to join Liquid Icons, a fine wine research and content production company founded by his mentor Lewis Chester and Gérard Basset. Lushnikov has since become an integral part of the business, bringing the vision of a one-of-a-kind production company for the wine and spirits industry to life by translating a tech-forward mentality to the wine world. He is also responsible for co-founding, producing and authoring Liquid Icons' Gérard Basset Global Fine Wine Report, which now spans over 20,000 responses from 442 leading global fine wine market players, including 57 MWs.

Jake Biggs, 27

Buyer, Majestic Wine

Having worked at Majestic for seven years, Biggs has played a vital role in making improvements to the retailer’s range and customer offering. During the pandemic, this included overhauling the company’s entire on-trade wine range and supply base while working to improve cost and quality. The result was changing 50% of the range over a two-year period with extensive benchmarking to ensure the best quality and product proposition. It also led to a multitude of new accounts under Majestic’s on-trade banner, including its most recent win, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

Hannah Ford, 29

Shop manager, Starmore Boss

An integral cog within a small team, Ford steered the business through several difficult moments during Covid. This included leading the team’s participation in Yorkshire Wine School’s 10th Birthday Wine Fair as a trader as well as being responsible for running and hosting the lion’s share of the business’s virtual tastings. She has a nose for hunting out the shop’s future bestsellers.

Charlotte Norris, 29

Senior digital content manager, Accolade Wines

Social media isn’t just about engaging with the consumer, but using insights as part of a feedback loop to enhance the overall business. This is something Norris has taken to heart, utilising her work across multiple brands within the Accolade Wines portfolio as a way of influencing wider business decisions – a move which has proved meaningful and useful to senior stakeholders.

Emily Reay, 27

Taittinger brand manager, Hatch Mansfield

As well as managing the third biggest Champagne brand in the UK by volume, Reay has demonstrated a strong contribution to prioritising social media at Hatch Mansfield, which now has a formal strategy. Reay was instrumental in highlighting the importance of wider engagement outside her main job role. Today, the company’s social media platforms have their own designated team member.

Hannah Butson, 27

National account manager, Liberty Wines

Growing the discounter channel was new to Liberty back in 2019. Butson formed a major part of meeting this challenge and was tasked with building the account from scratch to 16 Aldi brands in 2021. Her handling of the account helped her to win accolades within the business too, after managing to turn the discounter into one of the top accounts for Liberty in a single year. Elsewhere, she is about to embark on a charity cookbook for Liberty, compiling recipes from the ‘super multicultural’ team, with proceeds going to Royal Trinity Hospice.

Charlotte Gordon, 28

UK wine development ambassador for Estates & Wines, Moët Hennessy Wine Division

With a wide-ranging role, which includes launching products into the UK market, Gordon has proven herself to be a talented communicator, particularly within the Champagne category, having been accepted onto the Champagne Academy in 2017. She currently manages the academy’s education content for the website, having helped to build the platform from the ground up. Elsewhere, she can be found hosting consumer events, giving masterclasses or building PR programmes while ensuring she has time with vines abroad in destinations such as Chile and Argentina.

Megan Guy, 28

Supply manager, Accolade Wines

At just 28, Guy has a wealth of experience in end-to-end supply planning for NPD at both Accolade and Treasury Wine Estates. Having played a key role in managing the global shipping volatility and Covid-related changes in customer demand at one of Europe’s biggest drinks suppliers, her work to highlight the need for additional resources resulted in a major rethink in terms of recruitment and redistribution of workload. Thus, Guy has proven herself to be a highly adept and adaptable member of the team, capable of seeing the company through difficult times while keeping a cool head under pressure.

Anna-Sophia Rzevski, 28

Customer service manager, Enotria & Coe

Mapping out a completely online phone system for Enotria & Coe during the working-from-home culture shift required an in-depth understanding of the one of the UK’s biggest drinks distributors. Rzevski more than stepped up to the task, showing herself to be an agile member of the team, committed to improving lines of communication both inside and outside the business.

She has also worked to improve the mental health and incentive processes for her team, including introducing a system whereby employees are recognised for their customer service contributions as well as their speed in processing orders.

Alice Williamson, 27

Category manager, Freixenet Copestick

A strong category manager working across a slew of regions and formats, Williamson’s ability to build closer relationships with major accounts

such as Morrisons and Asda has led to growth on both sides of the business. On top of her category management role, she also took on the role of brand manager for one of Freixenet Copestick’s Chilean suppliers, Aresti, which allowed her to build on her passion for wine from Chile, where she worked for a year in wine exports.