Meet the Team
Who are Swig? The clue is in our name - we are for wine lovers not wine snobs. We’re a bunch of misfits looking for undiscovered wines that punch above their weight. We’re all about the pleasure of discovering, drinking and sharing great wine. We are on a mission to discover amazing wines made by amazing people in amazing places. Above everything we love wine and are here to help.
Swig has been championing independent growers since 1997. We work with family-owned producers, the majority are organic or farmed sustainably. We are a small and occasionally effective team united by the love of the odd glass or two with a large platter of fodder. Meet the crew behind the chaos below!
ROBIN DAVIS, Founder
Ever since I started in wine I've loved to make it accessible and fun. I like to take people on a journey to help them discover exciting wines they might not otherwise find.
My mentor got me tasting wines blind, which leads you to think about the taste, not the label, and has led me to some great finds that punch above their weight. It also means we don't just take on famous names for the sake of it, and one of my greatest joys is to discover an up and coming producer and introduce them to customers and see the them flourish.
DAMON QUINLAN, Director of Trade Sales
My name's Damon and I'm an alcoholic. Not really, I just like alcohol. A lot. In almost all its various forms... from sherry to syrah, from cinsault to saki, from barolo to beer, from riesling to rum, and tequila til sunrise. Who knew all those years ago when I had my careers advice meetings to decide which O grades and Higher subjects (I’m Scottish) I should take, that I really needn’t have bothered. You can get a job eating and drinking. And you can travel and meet amazing people with amazing families doing amazing things with grapes, in the most amazing places. Life isn’t meant to be a competition, but if it were, I’d be winning! Based in Brighton, I have a wonderful (extremely patient) wife, Flora, and two incredible children, Nancy Rose, 20, and Remy Jack, just 3 months (at time of writing). When we’re not eating and drinking we enjoy the sea and the horizon and walks across the South Downs... it’s a wonderful part of the world. and friends, lots of friends. Always drink responsibly folks.
HECTOR LUND, Head of Private Client Sales
Hello, my name is Hector. A few years ago now, on a hot Friday afternoon, I wandered into the Swig office and first met Robin and Damon. “I like wine, I really like drinking it, I don’t know much about it right now but I promise I’ll work really hard at drinking lots more of it”. Fast forward a few years and I live and breathe (mostly in) the stuff.
Whilst busy thinking about wine it’s likely I’ll be running a silly distance, as at the end of every marathon great wines are waiting. I also have a soft spot for cycling, being outdoors and exploring areas like the Lake District, whilst sampling local ales and food. Obviously I love to cook. I actually take a similar approach to cooking as I do wine. Having grown up in East Yorkshire, not far from Hull, the epicentre of chip spice and culture, and with part Spanish and French family (the rest 100% Yorkshire) I take pride in trying absolutely anything in the Kitchen. For me it’s all about giving it a go – and then finding what to drink with it.
IMOGEN TAYLOR, Private Client Sales
Like a fairground carousel, I just keep coming round. Swig was the first company I worked for in the wine trade, having become obsessed with wine whilst running a pub restaurant in Hampshire. I left at the end of 2017 to spend some time in South Africa, including working the 2018 harvest, and rejoined the team in late 2020, having gained valuable experience in the cellar in SA and with another importer. The lure of the producers and the team was apparently just too much!!
South Africa will forever hold a very special place in my heart, and I am continually amazed by the phenomenal quality and variety of wines coming out of the Cape. When not talking about wine, I'll often be found yakking on about soil, organic and regenerative farming, agroforestry, native animal breeds and the benefits of eating pasture raised meat. After an enforced year of sobriety, I'm also always intrigued by new no and low alcohol options. And no, I haven't tried a really decent alcohol free wine yet!
KATE ROBINSON, Private Client Sales
Fresh out of university I joined my local wine merchant in Bath and was hooked immediately on all things wine. After a stint at a well-known fine wine merchant focusing on wines to lay down, I went back to my roots in Bath. Roll on another decade and here I am thoroughly enjoying the delights that Swig has to offer and recommending these absolute gems to private customers. I love it!
I live in the Wiltshire countryside, close to Bath, with my gorgeous family. Life is busy with three young children, but we love finding time to relax with friends, travel, visit the coast and generally have lots of adventures and make wonderful memories.
JAMES BRAYBROOK, Private Client Sales
To me wine is not about knowing absolutely everything or having tried more than the next person. It is about understanding what is in the glass, in front of you. I have been infatuated with wine for as long as I can remember. The mind-blowing process from vine to bottle is something that captures my imagination. I have been lucky enough to spend over a decade of my short life working, living and tasting my way around Australia, more specifically McLaren Vale, South Australia. In which I have had the privilege of working and getting my hand very dirty for small to large producers and learning something new every day. A wise man once said (my Dad), “Every day is a school day in life” and that is certainly right in the wine-world, there is something new and intriguing happening every day.
Personally, for me, the most important part of wine is the enjoyment. To be able to sit back and enjoy a glass of something delicious is a luxury and one we often take for granted. My mission is to encourage people to break the mould and try something new, something different and to challenge themselves, that’s how we make discoveries, right?!
RICHARD PLEDGER, Private Client Sales
Hailing from the Garden of England with a background of work in some of London and the South-East’s finest wine bars and restaurants, hospitality and customer service are paramount and he's always on board to help you find the perfect wine. Richard is a keen cook, and once upon a time the host of a legendary fundraising supper club. You’ll find him trotting around South London with his head in the flowers. Say hello and he might even invite you round for dinner.
ANNABEL VIRTUE, Trade Sales
On a camping holiday in France as an 8 yr old, Annabel told the waiter in a local brasserie NOT to add water to her thimble of red wine, as is customary for French children. This was clearly a sign to find a job in the wine industry.
Her wine journey started at Decanter magazine, followed by working for various UK wine suppliers, until joining Swig.
When not cradling a glass of something delicious from the Swig portfolio, Annabel is either on her bike, out rowing or paddleboarding on the river or up a mountain somewhere remote. As long as life is full of great wine, great food and great friends, she’s happy.
WSET qualified, Annabel looks after our on trade customers outside of London.
EMILY GALLETLY, Trade Sales
Another Glaswegian with an unorthodox career choice I found my calling in wine through working in bars and restaurants from as early an age as was legally permissible. From bartending and waitressing through to managing and sommelier(ing) this youthful chapter culminated in stints at 2 iconic restaurants, Andrew Fairlie at the Gleneagles Hotel and the Ledbury in Notting Hill. I loved it all but eventually those long shifts treading the boards took their toll on my knees and it was time to hang up the apron and learn new skills.
For the past 7 years I’ve been an on trade account manager linking up London sommeliers with exciting producers and sometimes even travelling the world in the process. It’s not a bad life and I’m very much looking forward to new discoveries at Swig. With more than a professional interest in the wine trade and hospitality industry I take my duty to support both very seriously and to that end can often be found in and about these establishments.
NICOLE STUBBS, Logistics & Administration
I’m a born and bred South African so I’m sure to recognise a good wine when I taste one. My love of good wine lead me to work in the industry when I came to the UK more than a decade ago, and I’ve continued to grow my knowledge since then. I’m back now after taking a break to give birth to a gorgeous baby girl, and I’m so excited to join the Swig team for a new adventure. My passions in life are family and travelling to new destinations with my hubby to sample new wines and delicacies from different cultures. We saffers are hedonistic by nature and of course we love the sun, but no matter the British weather you’ll find us cooking meat on the braai (that’s a BBQ folks) and drinking high quality wines all year round.
VIVIENNE PLAX, Accounts Administrator
You never know where life will take you - that's the fun of it! After emigrating twice, and a series of careers, I was led to Swig by a 3rd party who said she'd found the perfect job. She left after a year and I'm still Swigging nearly 7 years on. Born and raised in South Africa, I took over from a colleague with the same background, and I now get to practise my limited Afrikaans via Swig's multiple SA wine producers - one of the perks of the job. The other perks are enjoying the fine company of my fellow Swiggites and the fine glasses of bubbles they (occasionally) put before me!