Career talk: Wine Importer/Distributor

Learn what it takes to become a wine importer/distributor, with guest speakers David Gleave MW of Liberty Wines and Martin Gamman MW of Champagne Joseph Perrier.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Event finishes by 8.30pm.

39-45 Bermondsey Street, London. SE1 3XF

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How much does it cost?


(includes a welcome drink) 

Event details


The UK is one of the world’s great wine markets. We have access to an exceptional range of wines from all over the world and benefit from an enviable wealth of choice and diversity. This career talk focuses on the hard-working specialist importers who work year-round to select these wines and distribute them within the market.

From large companies employing several hundred staff across the supply chain, to tiny operations focusing on one specific producer, we’ll look behind the scenes at how this fascinating side of the wine trade works and the career opportunities it can provide.   

Who is it for?

  • You're interested in a career in the wine import/distribution sector
  • You’re interested in learning how wine is imported into the UK
  • You would like insight into how this complex and fascinating area of our industry works

Key discussion topics

  • The day-to-day of an importer/distributor
  • Product strategy: how importers select their wines
  • The process of getting wine into the UK market
  • How wine is distributed within the on- and off-trade
  • The different career opportunities available within a successful import/distribution organisation

The panel 

The panel will be chaired by our own David Wrigley MW. He will be joined by two industry experts, who each bring a different perspective on import and distribution.  

David Gleave MW,  Founder and MD of Liberty Wines

David set up Liberty Wines in 1997 - profitable every year, it now imports and distributes premium wines from 22 countries and works with over 360 producers.

David has worked in the UK wine trade since 1983. Throughout his career, he has spent at least 5-6 months of every year travelling the world, including 2-3 months in Italy, buying and researching wines.  This experience has given him an unrivalled knowledge of and insight into the country’s wines, and as a result he is generally regarded as the UK’s leading expert on Italian wines.  He has written a book on the subject, published in 1989, and numerous articles for wine magazines over the years.  He also updated the Italian entries in the third edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine.

Liberty Wines makes a range of its own wines in Italy, France, New Zealand and Australia, and this involvement with production, which David oversees, has given him an understanding of the wine industry, at all levels, that few people in the UK are able to rival.

Martin Gamman MW, Director for UK and Ireland for Champagne Joseph Perrier

Martin has worked in the wine trade since 1984. He started as a graduate trainee with Waverley Vintners and has worked for large and small companies, including a spell buying for J Sainsbury in the early 1990s, and four years with flying winemaker Hugh Ryman.

In the early 2000s he was European export manager for two Australian wine companies and for the last 12 years he has been Director for UK and Ireland for Champagne Joseph Perrier. He became a Master of Wine in 1993.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Payment in full must be made at the time of booking and places are not confirmed until payment has been received, we cannot take provisional bookings.

Transfer requests will be accepted up to two weeks before each event.

Cancellation charges:

  • Up to 2 weeks before the tasting you will receive a refund less 10%.
  • Within 2 weeks of the tasting fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Contact us

Book online or call student services on 020 7089 3841 for bookings or any booking related enquiries.

If you have any other enquiries about any of our tastings please email