Waitrose adds new MW buyers
30th October, 2013 by Gabriel Stone
Waitrose has bolstered its Master of Wine quota with the addition of two new buyers to the team.
The arrival of Liam Steevenson MW and Xenia Irwin MW before the end of this year will mean that Waitrose will employ a total of five MWs, more than any other UK supermarket.
Joining the team on 4 November, Steevenson will take charge of buying for Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and regional France.
Having passed the MW at his first attempt aged 28, he has previously worked for Majestic, Bibendum and Armit Wines, as well as running his own independent wine retail business Red & White in Devon for nine years.
Irwin joins the Waitrose team on 2 December as the buyer for multi-channel beers, wines & spirits for Waitrose Wines Direct.
With over 20 years experience in the wine trade, she has worked as an independent wine consultant, as well as for St Austell Brewery Company, the Spar retail chain and most recently as commercial manager at ABS Wine Agencies.
These new appointments coincide with the departure of Matt Smith, while current Waitrose buyer Maria Elener moves internally to take responsibility for Italy, South Africa, the Loire and Eastern Europe.
Welcoming the new arrivals, Waitrose head of beers, wines & spirits buying, Pierpaolo Petrassi MW said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for our team at the moment. Matt has had six very successful years at Waitrose and we wish him the best of luck. We’re looking forward to the fresh energy and pace that the two new members will bring to the team.”