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Tim Stanley-Clarke dies

A much admired member of the UK trade and leading Port expert, Tim Stanley-Clarke, has passed away.

Tim Stanley-Clarke at the Circle of Wine Writers Christmas party in 2013. Photo courtesy: Jim Budd

the drinks business understands that Tim died very suddenly this week, having been battling an illness for some time. A well-known, admired and much respected member of the UK trade, Tim was especially well-known for his work with agent John E Fells & Sons and Symington Family Estates over the last 30 years.

A sales director at Christopher & Co. from 1978 to 1984, he became both a Port ambassador for Symington Family Estates and consultant for John E. Fells (as it was then) in 1984 to the present day.

Initially responsible for representing Dow’s in the UK, both Graham’s and Warre’s eventually fell under his remit as did, in 1989, Blandy’s Madeira.

Paul Symington, co-director of Symington Family Estates, said: “It is with the greatest sorrow that we at Fells and Symington learned today (22 June) that Tim Stanley-Clarke died last night after a serious illness.

“We are deeply saddened at this tragic loss of an old and close friend.

“Tim joined us in 1985 from Christopher & Co, then the UK importer of Dow’s Vintage Port, and worked with us for some 30 years. His unique knowledge of Port, combined with his infectious sense of humour, made Tim the central figure in the UK wine trade on all matters related to Port for decades. Tim had a profound influence on how Port is perceived and he will be impossible to replace. We will miss him dearly.”

His love of fortified wines aside, Tim was a lover of all wine and his time at Fells also saw him looking after Bouchard Père et Fils and William Fevre among others.

One of his other notable achievements was helping launch Sir Cliff Richard’s Portuguese wine ‘Vida Nova’.

Always impeccably well-mannered, attired and with a devilish wit, Tim was also closely involved with numerous wine societies and clubs notably that of The Garrick in London.

He was a regular panelist and judge for the IWSC and a senior judge at the IWC and also judged on panels in South Africa and Australia.

A full obituary will appear soon on the drinks business.

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