Spain’s Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino name new members

Two members of the UK drinks trade were honoured last night for their “outstanding contribution to Spanish wine” at an annual dinner for the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino.

Pierre Mansour, of The Wine Society, and Paul Shinnie, of Alliance Wine, have been named the newest Caballeros, after they were formally invested into the Order by His Excellency D. Carlos Bastarreche, the ambassador of Spain, and Sra. Dña. María Peña Mateos, chief executive officer of ICEX, at a dinner held at The Dorchester on 5 March.

Established in 1984, the Gran Orden recognises those who have “acted over and above the call of duty” and made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of Spanish wines, be that in the bodega, the restaurant, through sales or the written word.

Mansour has worked in the wine industry for his entire career, in management and buying positions, and is currently head of buying at The Wine Society. He has direct responsibility for sourcing The Society’s Spanish range, sales of which have increased significantly since he has been buying this region.

Over the course of his 40-year career in the wine industry, Paul Shinnie has worked in both retail and as an importer, running his own specialist importer of Spanish wines, Vinites UK (which went on to be called From Rhone to Rioja).

In 2015 Paul sold his business to Alliance Wine and joined them as buyer for Spain, where he remains. In his own words this was a decision that “has allowed him to continue his commitment to Spanish growers and realise for them more than he could on his own”.

With the two new recruits, the Gran Orden comprises 66 members from both Spain and the UK.

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