Trade hails Man and Woman of the Year

Enotria CEO Alison Levett and Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich were named Woman of the Year and Man of the Year respectively at The Drinks Business Awards 2012.

Alison Levett receives her award from Tesco’s Dan Jago

In this final episode in our profile series on this year’s award winners, Levett won praise from Dan Jago, Tesco’s head of BWS, who presented her with the prize, as an individual “well-respected for her integrity and for helping to build the reputation of her business.”

Since taking the reins at Enotria in 2006, Levett was commended for working “to diversify the interests of her business taking it from having a strong concentration on Italian wines to now representing a broad number of agencies from around the world.”

Levett’s award marked the second accolade for Enotria at the 2012 awards, with the company also winning On-Trade Supplier of the Year.

Meanwhile Sir George Fistonich was recognised for “for the vision and determination with which he has steered his

Sir George Fistonich

company since its foundation in the 1960’s.

Announcing the award, Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch highlighted Fistonich’s impact on his native New Zealand wine industry, crediting him as “one of the first winemakers to defend the regional differences and their effect on wine styles in his home country and who has always been at the forefront of promoting the quality of New Zealand wines.”

Describing Fistonich as “an innovator, a man who encourages excellence from his team and in every aspect of his business and someone who has received some of the highest accolades,” Birch also pointed to the recognition given to him from outside the wine trade when he was knighted in 2009.

Away on a tour to celebrate Villa Maria’s 50th anniversary, Fistonich offered his reaction in a video from Beijing, saying, “I am delighted to accept this award and wish to thank everyone who contributed to our success over the years – Villa Maria Estate employees and the Hatch Mansfield team in the UK in particular.”

The award was collected on George’s behalf by Patrick McGrath MW, managing director of Hatch Mansfield and former db Man of the Year himself.

For a full list of this year’s db award winners, click here.

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