db awards 2014: The winners revealed

Best Retail Buying Team

Winner: Tesco

“It’s easy to knock one of the largest retailers on the planet, but this year’s winner is a wine team which offers a level of personality that is a world away from its corporate image. Nowhere does that come through more strongly than during their online Facebook consumer forums, not to mention the hugely successful Wine Fair programme. Yes, they’re tough negotiators, but as one judge remarked: “they are good, fun, passionate people.”

Runner-up: Laithwaites Wine

“The judges decided to recognise one team with a runner up award, noting the passion and experience that allows this company to champion niche categories alongside carefully sourced wines from more mainstream categories.”

 

Best Drinks Company of the Year

Winner: Liberty Wines

“In a category crammed with high quality entrants one company stood out for opening a host of new accounts and offering spectacular service, while balancing its position as one of the UK’s larger suppliers with one of the most exciting, well curated wine portfolios in the country.”

Retail Buyer

Winner: Beth Willard of Laithwaites’ Wine

“Within a team which impressed the judges this year, one individual really stood out from her peers. In addition to managing the buying for one third of Laithwaites’ UK range, with Spain a particular specialism, she has played a major role in giving small producers access to a global market platform. Romania has been a particular area of focus, although her commitment to spending one week per month “in the field”, coupled with the ability to speak no fewer than six languages, has enabled this buyer to uncover an unrivalled number of exciting new wines for her customers.

“Described by Tony Laithwaite as “probably one of the best buyers we’ve ever had in over 40 years of shipping wine”, she’s a name we can expect to hear more and more of in the years to come.”

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