Simon Thorpe MW
Became an MW 1997
Based in United Kingdom
Languages English, French
With more than 30 years of senior industry experience, Simon is an independent wine business consultant offering services to those either evaluating their commercial and organisational strategy or aiming to refine or revamp their brand proposition.
Having operated at board level for more than 20 years across a wide range of channels and business models, Simon can provide valuable insight to a broad range of wine business models and geographies. In particular he has a track record of finding and developing market opportunities and matching them to producers' capabilities.
Simon started his wine career back in 1988 wearing a morning suit and selling the classic wines of the world to the rich and wonderful clientele of Fortnum and Mason. In 1995 he and his wife Louise departed on an 18 month world tour (combined with honeymoon!) visiting and working in California, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On their return, Simon joined the buying team at Waitrose and in 1997 passed his MW exam at the first attempt.
After 8 great years with Waitrose, Simon joined Western Wines and soon after Constellation Europe Ltd as Vice President managing all wine supply and the premium retail channel and brands. 4 years later he was appointed Managing Director of Negociants UK Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Yalumba Wine Company, importing and distributing an impressive range of Australian and New Zealand wineries.
After 9 years, Negociants was integrated into John E Fells where Simon worked as Commercial Director for 18 months ensuring the smooth transition for brands, customers and staff.
Since January 2020 Simon has started his own consultancy business offering commercial and industry solutions for wine businesses around the globe and looking to help optimise outcomes throughout the whole length of the supply chain. He typically works with wineries looking to refine their route to market or brand proposition, and with wine businesses who are assessing their commercial strategies.
Primary area(s) of work: Trade, Strategy, Communication
Industry sector(s): Events, Marketing, Sales, Distribution, Business owner, Agency/Importer, Off trade, Buying, Consultant, Wine judge, International trade, Import/Export
Specialisms: Marketing wine, Investment strategies, Financial and commercial structures, Supplier/customer relationships, Identifying and meeting consumer demand, Routes to market, Importation, Distribution, HORECA, Supermarket and multiple retail, Independent retail, Branding, Supply chain efficiency, Wine judging