Drinks Business Awards 2015: the winners

Lifetime Achievement

db Awards 2015_HEL7986 copy

Nick James with Laurent d’Harcourt of Pol Roger

Winner: Nick James

This year’s recipient is well known to all longstanding members of the British Port and Champagne trade. Having spent over 44 years in the drinks industry, Nick James has represented Port brands such as Graham’s, and Champagne houses from Taittinger to Lanson.

In 1998, he joined Pol Roger, where he spent the last seven years as head of the Champagne brand’s UK office. Although he hit retirement age in November, he remained on the Pol Roger board until March this year, and remains in close contact with the team in London and Epernay.

Described at a recent dinner as a “true, great professional”, James has managed to successfully build a set of strong wine brands in the UK market, while also creating loyal friendships, even among his competitors in the trade.

Among his many achievements, he is credited with the successful integration of spirits Glenfarclas and Hine into Pol Roger’s agency business, while at the same time augmenting the operation’s reputation for wine and Champagne.

As well as his day job, last year he chaired the Champagne Agents Association. Today James is taking on a new drinks challenge as chairman of a cider producer called The Lambswick Drinks Company.

He owes his career in the wine trade to a godfather who owned sherry business González Byass, and freely admits that his academic record was poor – he was “chucked out” of Cirencester College twice. His “turning point” was attending the Champagne Academy in 1976, and he describes his period at Pol Roger from 1998 onwards as “the most amazing final part of my career”.

The drinks business must also personally thank our recipient for inspiring the magazine to collate one of its most successful online news story ever: Top 10 red trousers in the wine trade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Senior Sales Executive

Hush Heath Estate
London/ Kent

Staff Writer

The Drinks Business
London, UK

On-Trade Wine Sales Manager

Madeera Wines Ltd.
London, UK

Head of Sales & Marketing

IWSC & Club Oenologique
London

Buyer - Investment Grade Whisky

Dalkeith Brokerage
London, UK

Commercial Analyst

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Supply Chain Assistant (Maternity Cover)

Speciality Drinks
Elixir House, Whitby Avenue, Park Royal, NW10 7SF

National Account Manager : Multiple On Trade Accounts

Speciality Brands
Whitby Avenue, London NW10 7SF, UK

Sales Director – Europe

Jackson Family Wines
Europe (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland)

The Wine Show Chelsea 2019

London,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2019

WSTA Brexit Preparedness Seminar

London,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2019

Wines of Argentina - London

London,United Kingdom
22nd Oct 2019
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2019

Deadline : 25th October 2019

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2019

Deadline : 25th October 2019

Click to view more

The Global Cider Masters 2019

View Results

The Prosecco Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more