Our Buyers
Our Buyers

Our Buyers

'We can vouch for every single wine we ship'

Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

'It takes great skill to whittle down the hundreds of thousands of wines made around the world and identify the select few that we are willing to put on our List. Our team of buyers have the freedom to spend more time getting their feet dirty in vineyards, fostering relationships with winemakers, than any wine retailer in the UK. It means we discover great wines long before anyone else.

We're also able to vouch for every single wine we ship (we never buy from the dubious grey market) and our reputation for paying growers on time and negotiating fair prices (for our members and suppliers) means we are regarded with the utmost respect by the international wine trade.

Take all these ingredients and you have what I firmly believe to be a range of wines with immense depth and choice that is cutting edge and market leading. Why would you buy wine anywhere else?'

We're privileged to have the most experienced buying team in the business, with nearly 150 years between them. They are briefed only to buy wines that they really think our members will love, so they are free to explore rare parcels and unusual styles along as well-known favourites, and only from producers whose strict codes of integrity matches our own. Get to know more about our buyers below, or follow them on their wine buying journeys with Travels in Wine.

Meet your buying team

Pierre Mansour

Head of Buying Pierre Mansour

Regions: Spain, Lebanon

Joined: 2003

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

I'm proud to work here because we do the right thing, always with utmost integrity, in the way we serve our members, the respect we give our suppliers and the regard we have for our staff.

Read our Q&A with Pierre here

Freddy Bulmer

Freddy Bulmer

Regions: New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Eastern Europe, England, Beer & Accessories

Joined: 2015

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

I absolutely love being able to buy wine for The Wine Society because as a wine lover myself, there is no better place to be. I've been allowed the freedom to work with the more 'off the beaten track' places, such as Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and even England, and it's been exciting to see the success they now have. This is thanks to the receptiveness of the Society's members and our ability to go out to these places and discover first-hand where the quality is and what's on offer.

Read our Q&A with Freddy here

Sarah Knowles MW

Sarah Knowles MW

Regions: Italy, Champagne, North America & Spirits

Joined: 2013

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

It's great to have the trust to explore my regions, finding new wines that really excite me, whilst also valuing long-term relationships. This is brilliantly demonstrated by our longest relationship with Society Champagne producer Alfred Gratien, who make us a simply stunning champagne at a significantly lower price than the quality could demand; in part because our orders have been crossing the channel for over 100 years!

Read our Q&A with Sarah here

Joanna Locke MW

Joanna Locke MW

Regions: Loire, Portugal & South Africa

Joined: 2004

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

The Wine Society was always somewhere I hoped to work. I became a member before coming here as a buyer for several reasons; Firstly, out of respect for the team who were so highly regarded across the industry, but also because of the business ethics and standards that go hand in hand with our unique cooperative status. Another reason is that dropping into the showroom inspired childhood memories of Saturday morning trips to our local sweet shop. I still believe it is the best buying job in the business.

Read our Q&A with Joanna here

Toby Morrhall

Toby Morrhall

Regions: Burgundy, Argentina, Chile & Uruguay

Joined: 1992

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

The Wine Society puts a lot of importance on meeting wine producers and getting to know the regions one is buying from by visiting them. This sets us apart from those companies whose buyers do not travel and form only second hand opinions. The relationships we develop with wine producers allows us many opportunities such as having first choice of the wines, sometimes making our own blends, occasionally as own labels.

Read our Q&A with Toby here

Marcel Orford-Williams

Marcel Orford-Williams

Regions: Rhône, Southern and regional France & Germany

Joined: 1986

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

No two days have ever been the same since I joined the Wine Society all those years ago and in that time I have been lucky enough to know some truly amazing people such as the inimitable Gaston Huet and Jean Hugel. I've been given free rein to explore in depth all the regions that I have covered. More importantly still has been the satisfaction of buying wines that members like.

Read our Q&A with Marcel here

Sebastian Payne MW

Sebastian Payne MW

Regions: Italy

Joined: 1973

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

One of the things I have discovered over 30+ years of buying for The Wine Society is that good growers aren't in it just for the money. For them and for me the fact that we are owned by the people who drink the wines we buy, that we are totally independent of outside shareholders with different interests and that we are financially sound is extremely important. There really is no other organisation in the wine world quite like The Wine Society.

Read our Q&A with Sebastian here

Tim Sykes

Tim Sykes

Regions: Bordeaux, Beaujolais & Sherry

Joined: 2012

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

Being a co-operative we are in the enviable position of trying to sell a bottle of wine for as little as we can (unlike any other wine company that will try to see a bottle of wine for as much as it feels it can get away with). In my previous company, a large wine merchant based in London, I would tempt prospective French wine suppliers with the carrot that we sold to The Wine Society. There was (and indeed is) no greater badge of honour for a wine producer than to have their wine in our range.

Read our Q&A with Tim here

Matthew Horsley

Matthew Horsley

Regions: England, Greece & Hungary

Joined: 2013

What makes you proud to work at The Wine Society?

It's a huge honour to buy for The Wine Society, a company that has a long and respected history not just with our membership, but also with our beloved producers. To be a part of that history and help develop and grow those valuable relationships, whilst having the support and trust to explore and discover our regions, is truly unique. It's a joy to help bring those relationships and stories to life for our membership.

Read our Q&A with Matthew here

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