Board of Directors
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.
Chief Executive Officer
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.
Director – appointed 27 July 2022
Rachel has 15 years’ experience as a lawyer, most recently specialising in the luxury goods industry across multiple categories, from fashion to wine. Currently General Counsel at Nyetimber, Rachel is a technically excellent individual renowned for leading and driving internal collaboration on projects, establishing and building key relationships with stakeholders, and championing improvement on legal matters in business.
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 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 Midland 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.