About Us

Mags Janjo

DipWSET

Mags has spent his entire working life in the wine industry, starting off as a Wine Specialist at his local Waitrose before a couple of years selling wine to both the on- and off-trade, including a stint at Majestic Wine’s commercial arm. He was most recently a Senior Account Manager at Roberson where he worked with major UK supermarkets. Mags recently set up his own company MJ Wine Cellars offering wine education and consultancy services.

For him, ‘ethnic diversity in the wine industry has been an uncomfortable and much-avoided topic. Fortunately, the wine industry and society as a whole is now giving this the spotlight it deserves. My goal at BAME Wine Professionals UK is to unearth, celebrate and promote BAME talent in the wine industry. I strongly believe the industry will be richer and better for more diversity.’

Jancis Robinson

OBE MW

Jancis has been writing about wine since 1975. Editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine and co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine, she writes weekly for the Financial Times and daily for JancisRobinson.com.

She feels strongly that BAME individuals should be better represented in the UK wine trade and seeks to encourage those in a position to do so to seek out talent and provide opportunities within communities that could well provide the wine drinkers of the future.

You can read some of what she has written on the subject here.

JancisRobinson.com is delighted to be a major sponsor of this long-overdue initiative designed to help make the UK wine trade more inclusive.

Industry Champions

Wine and Spirit Trade Association

The UK drinks trade’s official body, helping over 300 companies big and small to cope with the challenges presented in this difficult era. They campaign for a vibrant and sustainable wine and spirit industry, helping to build a future in which alcohol is produced, sold and enjoyed responsibly. We have the support of the WSTA, and an offer of concrete help where appropriate, in our attempts to encourage inclusivity throughout the trade.


Sukhinder Singh

Sukhinder is co-founder of one of the UK’s fastest-growing drinks companies, Speciality Drinks Group, and has built a reputation as a leading expert in his field. During his 20 years at the helm of The Whisky Exchange which retails whisky, other spirits and more recently wine, he has worked with his buying team to build an unrivalled portfolio of over 12,000 products both in-store and online, as well as the wholesale business Speciality Drinks. In addition to its dedication to the world of whisky and spirits, the company has recently built an enviable reputation for its wine portfolio, overseen by Dawn Davies MW. They are especially proud of their grower champagnes and continue to win many awards, including Decanter’s Best Retailer for Champagne & Sparkling Wine award in 2019.


Ian Harris MBE

Ian has spent his working life in the wine and spirit industry. He joined the Wine & Spirit Education Trust as Chief Executive in 2002 following a successful career in sales and marketing with Waverley Vintners and then Seagram. Under his leadership WSET has grown into the biggest organisation of its kind in the world, with over 100,000 students taking a WSET qualification in the last year alone. WSET’s mission is to provide accessible, best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts.

Ian is proud that WSET has a multi-cultural and multi-national employee base which reflects the diverse communities and the course providers and students who work with WSET around the world. He recognises that WSET must play a major role in helping to make the industry a more accessible, inclusive and diverse place in which to work, in particular for individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and is leading the WSET’s Diversity and Inclusion program.


Ayo Akintola

Ayo is the Managing Director of Oddbins and its parent company European Food Brokers Ltd. Ayo joined Oddbins over 20 years ago and rose through the ranks. Over the past 20 years, he has played a significant part in identifying and developing talent within the company so that now many of these employees hold senior positions within the drinks/wine sector across the world. He still mentors many ex-employees as well as current employees.


Michael Saunders

Michael is CEO of Bibendum Wine (a division of C&C Group plc), one of the leading importers and distributors of wines and spirits in the UK. He has been with Bibendum (with a small gap in 2017 having sold the business the previous year, returning in April 2018) since 1982, becoming MD in 2001. Michael, who has a special interest in encouraging diversity within the trade, is Chairman of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association and of The Drinks Trust, the charity that has been providing support, care and assistance to those who work in the drinks industry since 1886.


Regine Lee

Regine Lee MW is currently the Head of Operations (i.e. logistics and customer services) at Liberty Wines, a leading importer/distributor with one of the trade’s most inclusive and diverse workforces. She has had a wide range of previous roles in the wine industry: trade marketing, education, sales, and Asia market development for WSET. Regine is a co-founder of Women in Wine London, a trade networking group which organises events that develop women professionally and provides a forum for discussing key developments in the industry. She obtained winemaking experience at Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch through the inaugural PIWOSA Women Wine vintage programme  in 2014. Regine became a Master of Wine in 2018. In 2020 she was recognised as an IWSC/WSET Future 50 Award Winner and a nominee for WSET’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

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