James Suckling team

Hong Kong-based wine critic is expanding his team in Hong Kong with the latest hire of Gavin Jones (five from left) . Pic: Jamessuckling.com

American wine critic James Suckling has hired a new CEO.

American wine critic James Suckling has appointed Gavin Jones, former head of Hong Kong’s leading wine and spirits company, Jebsen Beverage Co Ltd, as its new CEO, effective from May 1.

Jones has extensive experience in the wine and drinks business having served more than 25 years as managing director of Jebsen Beverage Co. Ltd., with extensive operations in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.

He is also the founder and chairman of GRJ Beverage Consulting Ltd, a successful agency that continues servicing its clients with a strengthened line up of independent consultants and advisors in the drinks business.

James Suckling team
Hong Kong-based wine critic is expanding his team in Hong Kong with the latest hire of Gavin Jones (five from left) . Pic: Jamessuckling.com

Jones will be based in Hong Kong and will manage the business as well as the staff of 17 around the world, according to the press release.

“Gavin is an important part of my company’s plans for the future bringing some of the best wine content and ratings in the world as well as high-end wine events and masterclasses for the consumer and trade around the world,” said James Suckling, the founder of JamesSuckling.com.

Suckling, based in Hong Kong, has been a wine critic for 40 years, first as a senior editor for the American wine magazine, The Wine Spectator, and then with his own internet-based platform which started in December 2010. JamesSuckling.com scores, notes and reports are among the most widely quoted and shared wine content globally amongst the wine trade and consumers.

Jones added, “I am absolutely delighted to join the team at JamesSuckling.com. The James Suckling brand resonates around the world and the momentum we are currently enjoying shows that we are ready for the next phase of growth, both from a media perspective but also, once safe, for our wine events program. The level of interest in JamesSuckling.com from consumers, the wine trade and winery owners is remarkable; we will continue to build a first-class platform to provide the very best content and events.”

Last year, Sucking and his team rated more than 18,000 different wines. This year they have already rated 7,000 wines and hope to reach 30,000 by the end of the year. Aside from wine rating, he organizes large consumer tasting events under the banner of the Great Wines of the World, Great Wines of Italy, Great Wines of the Andes and Bordeaux confidential around the world including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Seoul.

“The growth in on-line wines sales has been incredible in the last 13 months due to the pandemic as well as other initiatives in the world of wine such as Zoom tastings, so our content both online and through social media has been in even greater demand.” said Suckling. “But I believe that we will all relish the chance to attend in-person wine events when it’s safe and we get the chance.” 

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