Liz Berry MW
Became an MW 1980, died 14 April 2020
Tribute published by the IMW
Liz’s wine story began at Vince Food and Wine Group (Europa Foods) where she worked as their wine buyer. She embarked on her wine studies during this period and was awarded the Mercier Scholarship for the WSET Diploma and went on to pass the MW exam in 1980. The following year, Liz and her husband Mike opened a fine wine shop in central London, La Vigneronne.
MWs of a certain age will always be indebted to Liz who regularly hosted Saturday morning tasting sessions at La Vigneronne. She was, without doubt, instrumental in getting so many of us into a practical exam-ready state, and for this we will remain eternally thankful.
The shop won many awards over the years, including mentions in Wine International, as Independent Wine Merchant of the year for London and south-east England, one of Which? Wine Guide’s top merchants for London, and in Courvoisier Book of the Best, as one of the best wine merchants in the world.
Liz and Mike moved to France full time at the end of 1994 and sold La Vigneronne in 2003 to focus on sourcing wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon for the UK market.
Over the years Liz was involved in the MW study programme and was a member of the Education Committee. She was a judge for Decanter, South African Airways, and wrote two books, The Wines of Alsace and The Wines of Languedoc-Roussillon. Before joining the wine trade Liz was a classical-guitar teacher.
Liz was cremated in Nimes on 28 April. Mike will scatter her ashes at home and over an olive grove in her beloved Alpilles.