Simon Berry joined Berry Bros. & Rudd - representing the seventh generation of his family to do so - in 1977. He became Marketing Director in 1987, was elected to the Board in 1994, and was appointed Chairman in January 2005. He retired on his 60th Birthday in November 2017.
He spent two years working in France for various wine producers before joining the company, including Moët & Chandon in Champagne, M. Chapoutier in the Rhone, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux, and Prosper Maufoux in Burgundy.
Simon was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in 1979 and the Diploma of the British Institute of Marketing in 1983, and in 2003 graduated from the Owner President Management Executive Education program of Harvard Business School. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, a member of the Académie du Champagne, and a Chevalier du Tastevin in Burgundy. He served on the Executive of the Wine & Spirits Trade Benevolent Society, and was Chairman of the Benevolent in 2008. He was a Council Member of RADA, on the Board of RADA in Business, and Chairman of the RADA Development Board. He was appointed Clerk of the Royal Cellars in 2008, and was the holder of the Royal Warrant of Appointment as wine merchant to HRH the Prince of Wales and HM the Queen. For many years he was a regular feature on the Decanter Power List – the fifty most influential people in the wine world.
Simon’s main area of responsibility at Berry Bros. & Rudd was marketing, and the development of new projects for the Wine Division. Examples include the establishment of the company’s Duty Free wine shops at Heathrow’s Terminals Three and Four – the first instances of a specialist wine merchant operating such outlets in the world. These shops won the coveted Duty Free Specialist Liquor Retailer of the Year in 1996, and Wine Magazine’s award for Retail Creativity in 2004. He was also instrumental in setting up Berrys’ Internet site (which won Wine Magazine’s Website of the Year eight of the nine years the award was made), and initiating BB&R Press, the company’s publishing arm. In 1999 he spent 6 months in Hong Kong, establishing the company’s first wine subsidiary in Asia, the Berry Bros. & Rudd Fine Wine Club.
Simon has lectured on wine on many occasions, and to many institutions throughout the world, including Oxford and Exeter Universities, Stowe, Woldingham, Wycombe Abbey School and Eton College, the British Embassy in Tokyo, the Chalke Valley History Festival and Harvard Business School. His articles have been published in several magazines, notably Vogue, Debrett’s International Collector, The Economist Review of the Year, The Financial Times and regularly in The Spectator. He has also contributed to many television and radio programmes, most recently How Britain was Built and Wine: the Firm.