Meet the Team
Who are Swig? The clue is in our name - we are for wine lovers not wine snobs. We’re a bunch 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
RACHAEL LEACH, Director of Private Client Sales
My first word was cheers so I guess a career in something vino related was written in the stars. While studying English (in Scotland of all places) I wandered into the local wine shop and left four years after as Assistant Manager with a love of vintage champagne and the beginnings of my very own cellar. While there I joined the university wine tasting team competing in blind tasting competitions against teams from as far afield as Hong Kong and occasionally winning some! From there I joined Swig taking on the exalted position of jack of all trades looking after private client sales, marketing, office management, our website redesign and a few other things besides. When not keeping the good ship swig afloat you can find me in the restricted view seats at the National or marching through Richmond Park looking for Fenton and the nearest pub.
HECTOR LUND, Private Client Sales
Hi, my name is Hector. A few years ago, on a hot Friday afternoon I wandered into the Swig office and first met Rachael, 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”. 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, even if they don’t know it yet! 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 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.
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.
RICHARD PLEDGER, Trade Sales
Hailing from the Garden of England Richard is SWIG’s resident Logistics wingman. Taking care of Trade, Retail and everything in between. 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. He is always keen to take on a challenge and relishes any opportunity to hunt down an elusive parcel, whether its pre-emptively sniffing out the odd late delivery from John O Groats to Lands end or guiding you through our latest single vineyard Saffa shipment, he is here for you! 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.
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!