John Avery MW, a leading light in the drinks trade, has died aged 70. He passed away in hospital on 23 March following a heart attack in his sleep.
The chairman of wine merchant Averys of Bristol, now part of Direct Wines, was regarded by many as a pioneer of the UK trade because of his keen interest in New World wines.
He was the first to import top Australian names such as Penfolds Grange and Tyrell's, as well as Matawhero of New Zealand.
Avery followed his father Ronald into the family business in 1966 after studying at Clifton College in Bristol and Lincoln College, Oxford, where we was awarded an MA in agriculture.
He took over the running of Averys in 1975, the same year that he became a Master of Wine and was also a founder member of the Zinfandel Club, which celebrated California wine in the 1970s and 1980s.
Avery was chairman of the Institute of MWs in 2000 and a past master of the Vintners' Company, while continuing to travel extensively and carve out a respected reputation as an international wine judge.
He is survived by his wife Sarah and four children, including his daughter Mimi who in 1999 became the fifth generation of the family to join Averys.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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