Charles Crawfurd MW

Charles Crawfurd MW

Date an MW: 1977
Based in: UK
Profession: Retired


I joined the wine trade in 1972 after returning from a year in Tanzania working as a VSO. My first job was with Christopher & Co in Jermyn Street working in the shop over Christmas. Early in 1973 I joined Charles Kinloch/Saccone & Speed with whom I spent the next 6 years performing a number of different roles and was fortunate to receive much help and guidance from 3 MWs, Sir Guy Fison, Robin Walters and Hugh Cochrane. I owe an immense debt of gratitude to them for supporting me through my WSET studies and subsequently those for the Master of Wine. I was fortunate to win both the Vintners Scholarship (1974) and the Rouyer Guillet Cup (now the Wine Trade Cup) in 1975. Both achievements were invaluable steps on my path to becoming an MW in 1977 at the first attempt.

From then on my career direction moved very much towards the sourcing and purchasing side of the trade and I held various senior positions in this capacity with successively Saccone & Speed, John Holt Vintners, Waverley Vintners, Stowells of Chelsea, Grants of St. James, European Cellars, Matthew Clark and finally Constellation Europe. I retired as Buying Director in 2008.

Since retiring I have continued to retain links with the Trade in the fields of education, particularly the various WSET courses at all levels which I continue to teach. In addition I do a limited amount of consultancy work in fields where over 30 years of buying experience I can still add value in today’s very different marketplace by drawing on my worldwide network of contacts!

Much of my time since retirement has been devoted to studying for a History degree with the Open University, something I achieved with First-Class Honours this year, thereby fulfilling a life-time’s ambition.

I have a particular interest and love for Wells Cathedral where I have worked part-time as a volunteer for the last 5 years. I am now embarking on a new role having been selected to train as one of the Cathedral guides whose responsibilities include showing some of the many thousands of annual visitors around this magnificent building and sharing with them something of its rich history and stunning architecture.

Being now a proud grandfather of 3 beautiful and lively grandchildren, meeting their growing demands helps to keep me both young and busy.

In what spare time I have left, I continue to walk the beautiful Somerset countryside amongst which I am privileged to live, accompanied by my faithful border collie. Of course adequate time is left to enjoy excellent wines which I have come to know over my working life and continue to discover.