Berkmann Cellars’ Jacquie Kay passes away

Jacquie Kay, long-serving sales director of UK wine merchant Berkmann Wine Cellars, has passed away following a private battle with cancer.

Jacquie joined Berkmann Wine Cellars in 1982 at the age of 31 to develop its private client business, which soon evolved into a wine club called Le Nez Rouge.

Members of the club included celebrities such as film director Richard Attenborough, author Len Deighton, music producer George Martin and comedian Spike Milligan, who all enjoyed the various tastings, dinners and other events organised by Jacquie.

With the wine club generating low sales, however, the determined salesperson in Jacquie spoke to company owner Joseph Berkmann claiming “in half an hour I can sell ten cases of wine to a restaurant instead of one bottle to a private client.”

It was from this point that Jacquie helped build Berkmann Wine Cellars’ independent on- and off-trade business into what it is today.

Over 35 years at Berkmann Wine Cellars, Jacquie occupied several successive roles, most recently the position of London sales director, and was also a member of the board.

Jacquie, who died peacefully at her home on 19 June, was described by her employer as a “true doyenne of the wine trade”, gaining widespread respect in the wine and restaurant industries.

“Jacquie was gentle, diplomatic, kind and much liked by all,” said Joseph Berkmann. “She was forever a close member of our family, and exceedingly loyal to me through many difficult moments. She’ll be sorely missed.”

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

3 Responses to “Berkmann Cellars’ Jacquie Kay passes away”

  1. Derya Demirci de la Fuente says:

    I will miss her dearly, she was one example to follow and a great mentor and colleague.

  2. Eddie Khoo says:

    Our souls are hardened of pain on hearing of the premature and unfair disappearance of those who were our mentors and colleagues. We knew, appreciated and admired! They will remain forever in our memory! Sincere condolences!

  3. Eddie Khoo says:

    Dear All especially all my friends in Berkmann’s wines,

    I am honored and blessed to have known Jacquie Kay. She was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss her. My condolences. I have known Jacquie since the mid 1980s when I was working with Antony Worrall Thompson at Ménage à Trois, Knightsbridge, London. She was my inspiration, my motivation and and my support during my very difficult early years in the catering industry to succeed but I had the unflinching support and motivation of Jacquie who also innovated the idea behind a contemporary wine list to support the menu at Ménage à Trois. Then, throughout my 20 years in the catering industry, I have come across Jacquie at numerous times and she has always given me her unfailing support. We are truly blessed to have known a person like her. She was a woman of strength and exemplary deeds. Now, in her time of her passing, your sorrow we share. May in the kingdom of God her dear soul rest. She will be a great act that is impossible to replicate. I thank you for all what you have done for me.
    No one can prepare you for a loss; it comes like a swift wind. However, take comfort in knowing that she is now resting in the arms of our Lord. My deepest condolences to Jacquie’s family, colleagues and friends at Berkmanns. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy will live on for many years to come.
    Eddie Khoo

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