John Avery MW: 1941-2012

John Avery MW, died in hospital on 23 March following a heart attack in his sleep aged 70.

The chairman of wine merchant Averys of Bristol, which is now part of Direct Wines, took over the family business from his father Ronald Avery in 1975, the same year in which he became a Master of Wine.

Like his father, John pioneered a fresh approach in the UK trade, being the first to import top Australian names such Penfolds Grange, as well as taking the lead in introducing wines from New Zealand.

Prior to joining his father at Averys in 1966, John attended Clifton College in Bristol, followed by Lincoln College, Oxford, where he achieved an MA in Agriculture.

In addition to his Averys commitments, John was a member of the IMW council from 1993 until 2001, chairing the Institute in 2000. He was also a Past Master of the Vintners’ Company and well known as an international wine judge.

John is survived by his wife Sarah and four children, including his daughter Mimi who in 1999 became the fifth generation of the family to join Averys.


3 Responses to “John Avery MW: 1941-2012”

  1. Charles Withington says:

    John was an absolute legend ….. the sincerest, best humoured, most unassuming and most generous person one could hope to know. Anyone who is half the stature of JA can be proud of themselves.

  2. Michael Dable says:

    We had our moments John. A full afternoon many years past debating the virtues or otherwise of Macon producers. Ever the same, nothing unpredictable, the line was always straight. Should have spent more time with you of late!

  3. Alastair Marshall says:

    Every year for the past 20 years John came to Soutwold in January to taste Claret. He not only brought his considerable expertise but also his unbridled opinion and in doing so enriched all of us in the tasting group. When we next gather there will be a gap where a truely colourful character used to stand. He will be much missed.

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