Andrew has 35 years’ experience within the UK wine and spirit sector after starting out picking grapes in the Champagne region in 1979.
Intially working with Saccone and Speed Ltd and then JR Phillips for 6 years with responsibility for developing Champagne Lanson while it was still controlled by Pierre and Jean–Baptiste Lanson.
In 1991 Mentzendorff called, and a role introducing and developing National retail sales for its fabulous portfolio followed. After 8 successful years, latterly as Sales Director, Andrew left to find new opportunities in the trade.
Short periods followed at the Halewood group and then Uvine.com before starting Connoisseur Estates in 2002.
Andrew’s experience of the trade drives the business through both its volume and prestige agency channels. Sourcing both volume and quality wines for our expanding portfolio and personally developing their sales allows a very varied and interesting life and one that Andrew thoroughly enjoys.
Having previously worked in a variety of HR and office management roles, Helene took a twelve year career break to take on her most important role, that of full time Mum. Helene came out of “retirement” three years ago, initially working part time for a local charity before joining Connoisseur Estates in June 2013. Helene is responsible for ensuring all the office and sales support functions run efficiently and assisting Andrew with the day to day management of all aspects of the business.
Although relatively new to this industry, wine is very much in Helene’s blood with her father being a Master of Wine and sister working in wine education in New Zealand.
Her favourite wine from our portfolio is the Gauchezco Oro which is 100% Malbec produced from 95 year old vines.
Tim started his career with a major accountancy firm, with spells in both London and Paris. After a six-year stint in industry, he moved into the SME sector, working with a porfolio of small businesses across diverse sectors. He joined Connoisseur Estates in 2013, and through a combination of sound financial management and a healthy appetite for the company’s products, he manages to keep the company’s finances in rude health.
Tim’s current favourite wine from the Connoisseur portfolio is the Château Palais Cardinal St Emilion Grand Cru.
Inspired by Keith Floyd’s boozy journey around France in “Floyd Uncorked”, Tom joined Majestic Wine in 1999. In two stints with the company totalling seven years he managed two stores in SE England, achieved the WSET Diploma and ran the customer service, product knowledge and WSET courses. 2007 saw a move to the supply side and sales roles with HwCg, PLB & Berkmann Wine Cellars before 4 years as Key Account Manager with Codorniu Raventos looking after and growing branded business within UK independent retailers, regional wholesalers, on-line specialists, travel retail, Majestic Wine & Waitrose…amongst others. Tom joined Connoisseur Estates in January 2016 to develop business within the South of the UK – there have been plenty of wine highlights so far but Tohu ‘Rore’ Pinot Noir certainly stands out!
James is local born & bred and started his working life in hospitality. He climbed the ranks to Supervisor & In-Store Trainer at Loch Fyne where he began learning about his favourite food, Seafood. Then more recently James worked as Assistant General Manager for Côte Brasserie, assisting in opening several branches and in the process discovering his passion for wine. James has settled very quickly into the wine industry, taking the role at Connoisseur Estates of Wine Logistics Coordinator. James’ other passions include TV & Film, in which he appeared as extras in various movies such as Harry Potter and X-Men and TV shows such as Inbetweeners and New Tricks. James’ passions extend widely into music and often visits gigs and concerts; he also plays keyboard for up and coming rock band Veridian.
James’ favourite wines are full bodied reds, particularly those from Bordeaux but his current favourite from our portfolio would be the Bastide Saint-Dominique Réserve Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Secrets de Pignan’, which is unusually 100% Grenache.