Biography

After a degree in French at Exeter University and a Postgraduate Diploma in European Business Studies, Susan went to work in France, first for Lillet near Bordeaux and then for Jas Hennessy in Cognac. Two years later she returned to England and a job at Howells of Bristol Bin Club where she became a Board Director, passing the Master of Wine exam in 1994.

In 1996 Susan became Central Buyer, Wines for Waitrose Ltd where, over the next ten years, she held various senior management post in the Wines, Beers and Spirits department.

In 2007 Susan left to set up her own company specialising in sustainable and socially responsible wines. She also qualified from Bath University with a Managing, Coaching & Mentoring qualification. It was through coaching Wine MBA students at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester that Susan took up a part-time post as Lecturer on the Wine MBA programme which finished in 2013. However she is now consulting with them on an English vineyard project outside Cirencester and putting her theoretical knowledge into practice!

In 2009 two ex-colleagues, Richard Davis from Waitrose and Aidan Bell from Howells of Bristol, asked her to join forces in a new wine merchant venture in Bristol, Davis Bell McCraith Wines. Seven years on this is going strong and we now have a shop in the centre of Clifton, Bristol.

In 2013 Susan was approached by Conviviality PLC to help with the acquisition and ongoing strategy of Wine Rack.

Susan is married with two children and lives in a country village where she enjoys taking the dog for long walks. During the past years she has raised money for Skin Cancer with a sponsored swim and taken part in the March for Mobility to raise funds for the Wine Trade’s Benevolent.

Susan is a Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Vintners and on the Trade Liaison Committee. She was Chairman of the Judges for the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition. She was also the first woman to be Chairman of the West of England Wine & Spirit Association. She is currently a Trustee of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

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