Delegate Profile

Sarah Abbott MW

Company NameSwirl


Sarah studied Classical Italian and Greek Literature at University and took a Post Graduate Diploma in Enterprise at Durham Business School before joining the wine trade in 1996. She has worked in the wine trade ever since, in roles including buying, business development, marketing, and commercial strategy. Her specialist areas are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo, and Emerging Wines. Her initial wine experiences and training were in the wine classics, but she has a great appreciation for the new frontiers of wine.

She is Co-Chair (one of 5 head judges) of the International Wine Challenge, the world’s largest wine competition, as well as judging competitions globally, from London to Tbilisi to Melbourne. She is a finalist in the ‘Roederers’, the global competition for wine writing and communication, for her columns for and co-author of the Burgundy section of ‘The Wine Opus’, an award-winning wine guide published by Dorling Kindersley in 2010.

After 10 years working for wine importers, Sarah founded her business, Swirl, in 2006. Swirl delivers corporate events, private client consultancy, and marketing strategy and activation for wine producers and trade bodies from France, Italy, Turkey, Georgia and Portugal. Most recently, she has partnered with trusted associates around the world to offer integrated global solutions for wine marketing and distribution strategy.

When she’s not giving technical masterclasses or judging international wine competitions, Sarah is usually found dancing in the kitchen, playing with the dog, cooking food, and going for small and painful jogs to balance her love of wine!

Conference Sessions

  • Amphora Wines: Make History the Future

    02 Jul 2019, 15:30 - 16:15, The Winemakers' Cellar

    Clay vessels – partly or fully buried – have been used for winemaking for thousands of years. These 'amphorae' are making a comeback in wineries all over the wo...

    • Language: English