The WineGB Board oversees the running of the organisation and uses its collective expertise to support the Executive Team.
Chair – appointed 2021
Sam is the Wine Director of Plumpton College and the former Managing Director of Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex. She has been involved in the industry for over 20 years, during which time she led Bolney to become one of the country’s leading wine estates. She also headed up the WineGB Export Committee until taking on a Director role and, in that position, has driven the export agenda forwards with considerable pace and success. She was appointed the new Chair of the WineGB Board in 2021.
Vice-Chair & Group A Director – appointed 28 May 2020
Nick is the Founder and Owner of Albury Organic Vineyard in the Surrey Hills, which he planted in 2009. He retired in 2005 having spent 25 years in the IT industry working for large corporates as well as running his own businesses. Prior to joining the WineGB Board, in 2020 he was chairman of WineGB South East and was a member of the planning committee for the UK International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in 2016.
Group A Director
Ned grew up at Oatley, a small and successful Somerset vineyard planted by his parents in the 1980s. Following a 20-year career in a global FTSE100 company, he has returned with his young family to continue the adventure.
He brings with him extensive experience in marketing, consumer insight and strategy development, along with a keen interest in high-quality still wines.
Group B Director – appointed 27 July 2022
Andrew has worked in the global drinks industry for over 25 years and joined Chapel Down Group plc as Chief Executive Officer in September 2021.
With extensive experience across wine, beer and spirits, he has held senior leadership roles at some of the world’s best known drinks companies, including Chase Distillery, Treasury Wine Estates, Bacardi and Bulmers across the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia & global travel retail.
He is a passionate, results-driven commercial leader with a strong track record of delivering transformational business performance, building world-class premium drinks brands and developing & leading high-performance teams.
Married with three grown-up children, Andrew is a passionate sportsman with a strong interest in horse racing and cricket.
Group A Director – appointed 27 July 2022
Jonica is co-owner of Fox & Fox, a family business nestled in the heart of the East Sussex High Weald, first planted in 2004. Fox & Fox produces an innovative range of highly acclaimed and highly awarded sparkling wines. Jonica has nearly 20 years’ experience as a grower and producer selling wines both in the UK and in selected export markets.
Director – appointed 12 October 2021
Wendy is a co-founder of Ambriel, having planted vineyards in 2008. After 25 years as a barrister, frequently working with government departments, she now produces English sparkling in West Sussex. She is hands on and hands in.
Prior to joining the board she served on the WineGB Export Council.
Director – appointed November 2023
Currently a freelance winemaking consultant, Emma was previously Head Winemaker at Hattingley Valley, having designed, built and run the winery, while also running her laboratory/wine analysis business, Custom Crush, now owned by Hattingley.
Twice winner of the UK Winemaker of the Year, in 2014 and 2016, Emma has been involved with WineGB for many years as a member of the Management Advisory Committee and as immediate past Chair of the Winemaking Working Group. One of the first graduates of the BSc V&O at Plumpton College, she worked in NZ, California, and Australia before returning to the UK 15 years ago.
Co-author of The Winegrowers’ Handbook she was also a major contributor to WineGB’s New Entrants’ Guide. As a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, she also sits on their Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Regional Director – appointed 9 February 2023
Ian Sargent with his wife Ann planted Laurel Vines in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 2011. Ian has a passion for learning, sustainability and technology which he uses in the vineyard, winery and other business interests. He strives to promote and develop the Midlands and North region and the fantastic variety of vineyards it contains. Now working with other regions and stakeholders to further develop the UK vine growing and winemaking.
Group B Director – appointed 12 October 2021
Ruth Simpson and her husband Charles have been making award winning wines at Domaine de Sainte Rose, their stunning, southern French property, since 2002. In 2012, attracted by the quality of the terroir and the opportunity to become part of one of the most dynamic wine producing regions of the world, they brought their expertise and savoir-faire back to the UK, establishing Simpsons’ Wine Estate in the North Downs of Kent, with an aspiration to produce the finest quality English wine. With a strong focus on provenance, Simpsons’ Wine Estate now produces a highly acclaimed range of exclusively estate-grown still and sparkling wines.
Ruth comes from a well-known Scottish whisky family and prior to what is now 20 years in the wine industry, worked in the humanitarian sector, focusing on international aid and development.
Group B Director – appointed November 2023
Australian born Chris Unger is based in London, and is Sales and Marketing Director for Hampshire based Hattingley Valley Wines, where he is responsible for the development and execution of the sales and marketing strategy. He is also Chair of the Wines of Great Britain Export Council. Prior to joining Hattingley Valley Wines in 2021, Chris was selling and marketing some of the best known and respected Australian wines throughout the UK and Europe. Ahead of his move to the UK in 2005, Chris was based in Western Australia working as a viticulturist and assistant winemaker for a variety of wineries and vineyards. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Viticulture, a Diploma of Wine and Spirits (WSET) and an MBA.