Justin started out his wine life in 1991, working on the International Wine Challenge, and in the following years he worked in a wine shop, ran a wine school, and then worked 6 vintages in France, South Africa, Hungary and Romania, before returning to the UK to get a proper job.
He then spent 14 years working at the cutting edge of UK wine retail, as a buyer for Safeway and Sainsbury’s, and as the Head of Wine for Waitrose. In 2010 he left to become Global Wine Director for Direct Wines (Laithwaite’s). Justin created The Hive Wine Consulting in early 2013, with Laithwaite’s signed up as a major client.
Nowadays, Justin still consults to Laithwaite’s but he also sources wine for the BIB Wine Company, heads up the Global Advisory Panel for the Global Wine Database, and acts as Wine Consultant to the Masala World Group whose restaurants include Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya. He sits on the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine and recently served as a committee member on the IMW Endowment Fund Auction, which raised £1.2 Million.
Justin is the Panel Chair at the Decanter World Wine Awards for the Languedoc Roussillon, and also advises a number of private clients and wine producers. Since 2007, Justin has produced his own wine (www.domaineofthebee.com) from 4 hectares of vines in the Roussillon region of the South of France, near the village of Maury. In 2015 he also launched his own, gold medal-winning English sparkling wine – Hart of Gold (www.hart-of-gold.co.uk).