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Mike Florence of Litmus Wines dies after cancer battle

Mike Florence, general manager of Surrey-based Litmus Wines, died last week after a long battle with myeloma, his employers have announced. 

Mike Florence (left) was general manager of Litmus Wines

Born in South Australia, Florence cut his teeth at Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars in Adelaide, where he was given the responsibility of running the annual Great Shiraz Challenge.

Leaving his motherland, he joined global wine competition the International Wine Challenge (IWC), quickly rising to become general manager, a role he held for nine years.

In 2009 he joined small start-up Litmus Wines as general manager, soon becoming a partner in the company and a founding shareholder of sister business GinKing, a pre-mixed gin and wine cocktail brand.

In a statement announcing his death, colleagues said: “Along with his many school friends he kept in contact with throughout his life in every career move Mike made strong and enduring friends with his colleagues. His honesty, calmness, good nature and humour will be missed by so many. Anyone that’s ever been with Mike when he found something funny will know what a deep rollicking belly laugh that brightens the mood is all about.”

Despite moving to the UK, Florence kept in touch with his roots and was a lover of Australian sport, in particular Aussie rules, as well as music.

The team at Litmus and GinKing said he would be “deeply missed”. Florence is survived by his wife Sarah and children Emilia and Cooper.

A Justgiving page, raising money for Myeloma UK, has been set up in his honour.

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