When you undertake any of the WEST qualifications with the West of England Wine School, it is our responsibility to make sure you get the best lectures for the job. This is why we call upon many people throughout the wine trade who have vast experience and knowledge, this enables the subject area being discussed to really come alive and and allow you to get a better insight of the wonderful world of wine and spirits.
Enjoy reading about some of our lectures who you’ll meet as you explore the beauty of the wine trade.
Fielden has given WSET lectures for more than forty years, both locally, nationally and internationally. He has written sixteen wine-related books, including two text books for the Trust. Other subjects include Burgundy, Alsace and South America. Commercially, he has launched on the British market a number of prestigious wine-brands, including Jacob’s Creek, Marqués de Cáceres and Felton Road. He worked for four years in Burgundy and has visited more than one hundred countries around the world.
Bell started in the wine trade as an auctioneer, before moving to Howells of Bristol in 1995 as Buying Director. After Howells was purchased by Lay & Wheeler in 1999, Bell spent the following three years travelling to Bordeaux and Burgundy and overseas sales trips to Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2003 Bell joined Averys as Fine Wine Manager, which had recently become part of the Laithwaites empire. In 2009, Bell started Davis, Bell & McCraith Wines with former colleagues Richard Davis (Formerly MD Averys) and Susan McCraith MW (Formerly Buying director at Howells and a central buyer at Waitrose). DBM focuses on private client sales and operates from a shop in Clifton Village, Bristol.
Ed Adams MW
Adams joined the wine trade in 1983 working at the long since gone Howell’s wine shop in Bristol. After working a while with Ted Hale MW near Bath he moved to London where he worked for a wine warehouse and then Wines From Spain. It was then 7 years as a wine buyer in Manchester with the Co-op until 1994 (passing the MW in 1991) and then a move to sleepy, rural Shropshire and Western Wines. Ed helped to establish the Kumala brand and by the time Western Wines was sold in 2004, annual turnover was 7 million cases.Since 2006 he has been working on his La Báscula Spanish wine range with South African winemaker Bruce Jack. The best, he says, is yet to come…
Charles Crawfurd MW
I have been in the wine trade since 1972 (41 years), retired in 2008 from full time employment. Employers have included Saccone and Speed, Waverley Vintners, Stowells, European Cellars, Matthew Clark and Constellation Europe. Vintners Scholar 1974, Master of Wine 1977. Most of career in purchasing. Specialise in South America, South Africa, California and France but have sourced from all wine producing countries at some time. Experience of both bottled and bulk wines. In retirement continue with lecturing on WSET courses level 1-4. WSET approved tutor. Also some consultancy work on sourcing wines from New World.
Current leisure interest include studying for Open University degree, walking, swimming skiing, voluntary work at Wells Cathedral, being a grandparent and enjoying life and freedom.
Soni started R.S Wines in 1985 in Bristol, and the company has remained fiercely independent for well over twenty five years. A pioneer of the term ‘Real Wine’, Raj’s philosophy is that wine should be a natural product with real character and should be made with respect for the environment. He works with many artisan and family wine producers who share his philosophy and believe in sustainable methods of production.
Soni’s expertise in wine and food pairing means he works closely with many chefs and restaurants. He has built many relationships over the years with both growers and winemakers, and regularly arranges for them to come to the UK for dinners and tastings. Soni was previously Chairman of the West of England Wine & Spirits Association during which time he reinvigorated the wine education programme.
Matthew Hemming MW
Hemming is the Fine Wine Manager at Averys Wine Merchants in Bristol. He joined the wine trade via the traditional ‘retail apprenticeship’, starting with Averys in 2002, fresh from university.
Early on Matthew realised that tasting fine wine was what he enjoyed most, so he allied himself to John Avery MW, assisting at as many tastings as possible. Through John’s mentorship Matthew won a place on the Len Evans Tutorial, in Australia, in 2005.
Matthew gained the Master of Wine qualification in 2013, writing his dissertation on business strategies and trends amongst the independent wine merchant sector. Outside of wine – particularly those from Burgundy and Australia – Matthew’s a keen mountain biker, although his enthusiasm surpasses his skill!
Degree in Civil Engineering
1yr Personal Assistant to Christopher Fielden (Burgundy expert), then for 6 years Member Services Secretary to the International Wine and Food Society.
Since 1999 I have worked at Averys. of which 7 years were in the Buying team, now Brand Ambassador.
Passed the 1st year of the MW exam.
Lectured at Christchurch Wine Capital of the world on “How to promote premium NZ wines in the UK”, Judge at Veritas 2013 Paarl South Africa, Senior Judge International Wine and Spirit Competition, Judge at Wine Stars Argentina and London Wine Trade Fair, Chairman of the West of England Wine and Spirit Association (WoEWSA), Junior Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners,Andre Simon Book Awards 2015 Judge for the Wine books
Travelling: I have been to Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Red Sea, Bulgaria, South Africa, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil (only one winery), America, Russia, Galapagos, Ecuador and Peru – many of which have been wine trips..