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The Society of Vintners has been supplying fine wines to its members since 1975, and can trace its origins back to wine-buying groups in the 1960s (the Allied Wine Buyers Consortium) and 1970s (the Nottingham Wine Buying Group). The Society is owned by its members, currently numbering 29 independent wholesalers and wine merchants covering the whole of the UK. Governed by a Board comprising its members, the Society’s day-to-day operations are managed by a small team:

Our Team

John Mansfield – Chief Executive



 This photographic evidence confirms that I started in the wine trade aged four, and I’m still here!

 In-between times I gained a First in Management from Loughborough University, and was awarded the prize for the Most Outstanding Student whilst there.  I also played county-level rugby union, raced offshore yachts for England, and twice cycled the full route of the Tour de France. I spent some years travelling the world selling and marketing industrial and yacht paint for International Paint, a division of Courtaulds.

My serious side is at the fore when I sit in Court as a magistrate. Aged 29, I was one of the youngest in the country to be appointed. I have now served as a Justice of the Peace for over 32 years, and still find chairing courts interesting, challenging and rewarding.

At work, I am passionate about taking a customer-first approach. This was developed in the 1990’s when I ran my family’s off-license business that included retail, wholesale and airline.  

Since architecting The Society of Vintners (SoV) in the early 2000’s, my experience and customer-centricity have underpinned the huge growth it’s experienced across the last two decades. I remain very proud to manage this market-leading buying group.


Paula Leaney 

clever dog

 Following a working background of front of house hospitality and hotel marketing, I joined The Society of Vintners on a short contract part time basis in 2012 and have never left!

 I currently handle purchasing and supply chain logistics as well as having a key role in development work but as a small team we all pull together to get the job done.

 I am always at the end of the phone to handle queries and answer questions and continue to embrace being part of the team that has helped SoV become the buying group it now is. 





Carol Whiting 

Carol's pug

 I joined in Summer 2018 on a part time basis, gradually getting embraced within the team and the group. I have a varied role and am on hand to help where I can.

 My previous job was in Further Education, but after a long time I decided I needed a change. I’ve always been a wine lover but on a social basis; my understanding has grown immensely and I am still learning. I have two Labradors, enjoy gardening and my family.