Neil Sommerfelt MW


Chair Judge

With a father who was a quality independent wine merchant and great-grandfather Charles Walter Berry, a partner in the historical family business of Berry Bros & Rudd in the 1930s, Neil Sommerfelt inherited a natural fascination for all things vinous!

After working with several hands-on winemaking families in France, Sommerfelt returned to the UK set on a career in the wine trade. In the 1980s, while working at Berry Bros & Rudd, he achieved his dream of becoming a Master of Wine whilst still in his 20s. A subsequent stint with his father at David Baillie Vintners further strengthened his grasp of the intricacies and rewards, as well as challenges, of the wine business.

From 1990-2001, Sommerfelt honed his large-scale wine-buying skills through experience as a central buyer at Waitrose, followed by time in a similar role at Safeway. From 2001-2014, he was the buying director for the Jeroboams Group, enhancing his skills in independent fine wine retail as well as wholesale through the group's Laytons Wine Merchants. Since 2014, he has been working as an independent wine consultant, including key buying roles at fine wine wholesaler H2Vin. His specialism in Burgundy remains to this day.

Neil Sommerfelt MW