Fri 08 Jul 2016

Rising to the (International Wine) Challenge

By
Head of Buying Tim Sykes with our Specialist Merchant Awards for South America and Regional France.

Head of Buying Tim Sykes with our Specialist Merchant Awards for South America and Regional France. ©Rob Lawson

For winemakers, winning an IWC (International Wine Challenge) award is the pinnacle of success, and we enjoy the fact that many of our wines have been recognised in this way (including this year).

For wine merchants to receive just one of the coveted IWC Merchant Awards is a high point, and having been shortlisted for five awards, a team of seven staff arrived at London’s Hilton on Park Lane Hotel for the 2016 Awards with much anticipation.

We were shortlisted for four Specialist Merchant awards – Italy and Spain, where the competition is always tough, and Regional France (Alsace, Beaujolais, SW France, Provence, Corsica, etc.) and South America where we are generally the tough competition for others. Things panned out as we had thought, with the latter pair bearing fruit for The Society.

Next up was the Online Retailer of the Year award – one that we have often won in the past under its previous guises of Mail-Order Merchant and Direct Merchant. We were delighted to regain this award, the judges recognising that The Society “covers everything from en primeur to some of the best wines available for under £10” and that the “website works brilliantly whether being accessed using a PC, a tablet or a smartphone”.

IWC Co-CHair Tim Atkin MW (left) presenting CEO Robin McMillan with the IWC Merchant of the Year Award 2016.

IWC Co-Chair Tim Atkin MW (left) presenting CEO Robin McMillan with the IWC Merchant of the Year Award 2016. ©Rob Lawson

And so to the last award – the highly sought-after IWC Merchant of the Year Award. Everyone who has won one of the 41 different Merchant awards is eligible for ‘the big one’, and so we were both surprised and delighted when IWC Co-Chair Charles Metcalfe uttered the immortal words: “And the winner is … The Wine Society!”

So 2016 goes down in Society history along with 2005, 2011 and 2013 as the years we have received the IWC’s ultimate accolade. This wine trade laureate is something in which all can share, whether staff, members or suppliers, all of whom have contributed to, and continue to contribute to The Society’s success. So whoever you are and wherever you may be, thank you for your support and for the part you have played in making The Society what it is today.

Thomas Oda (Member Research), Simon Mason (Tastings & Events), Ewan Murray (PR), Eain Green (IS), Robin McMillan (CEO), Tim Sykes (Head of Buying), Freddy Bulmer (Trainee Buyer) proudly displaying the spoils.

Thomas Oda (Member Research), Simon Mason (Tastings & Events Manager), Ewan Murray (PR Manager), Eain Green (Systems Development Manager), Robin McMillan (Chief Executive), Tim Sykes (Head of Buying), Freddy Bulmer (Trainee Buyer) proudly displaying our spoils.

All awards

 

Ewan Murray
PR Manager

Comments

  1. John Legg says:

    Congratulations – all awards were surely well deserved.

    However there are many ladies in the team and their absence made it look as if they had not contributed.

    So next time…….

  2. David Withnell says:

    Congratulations on the awards.

    But I have to agree with Mr Legg. Was this a boys night out?

  3. Ewan Murray says:

    Dear Mr Legg & Mr Withnell,

    It hadn’t escaped our notice either. On this occasion our tickets for the dinner were booked later than usual, and we booked fewer than usual. Three places of the six were taken by those directly receiving the awards, and availability of nominees for the remaining three places at this late stage was such that sadly only the gentlemen nominated were available.

    Previous such celebrations have been much more representative of The Society team, and some are mentioned/pictured via the following links.
    http://societygrapevine.com/2014/07/a-trio-of-wine-oscars/
    http://societygrapevine.com/2013/09/decanter-hat-trick/
    http://societygrapevine.com/2013/07/the-pinnacle-of-wine-retailing/

    So previous times, and indeed next time …
    Thanks for your understanding
    Best wishes,
    Ewan

  4. Keith Jerrome says:

    Poor stuff! Bit more awareness needed. Time for an Equality Audit and an implementation Plan

  5. Gus Naismith says:

    Ewan, these guys want to get a life, I noticed at least one person with a ‘skirt’ on!!

  6. Gus Naismith says:

    Ewan, apologies, on closer examination, there were two of you – well done.

Leave a comment