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Ian Whigham

Industry Experience / current role

I have now retired from full time work in the wine trade having initially been involved from the late seventies in wholesaling European wines and champagnes in London and the south of England having formed a company called Whiclar Wines circa 1973. My grandmother was French and part of the Chandon family which explained my interest in champagne

Whiclar metamorphosed into a company pioneering in the importation of Austrailian wines (Penfods) in 1985 and subsequently Hardys and Peter Lehmann wines in 1990 where I remained CEO until 2007.I also became involved the importation of Chilean wines from Caliterra and subsequently other Chilean producers in 1988. At Peter Lehmann we also handled other wines from South Africa as well as Argentina. I continue to sell wines to my contacts on a private customer basis as so many of us seem to do.

It was in 1980 when I went on the Academy course having been selected by Charles Heidsieck when Jean Marc was in charge. I remember it as being the year that Krug was the presidential house. What an introduction it was to the region and its delicious wines .I remember reading Patrick Forbes’s book on champagne from cover to cover. I won the silver magnum ice bucket that year.

I was fortunate enough to become chairman of the Old boys in 1992 when Krug was presidential house again. I think I have been more fortunate than many others to have drunk more than my share of Krug rose. Remy Krug was in charge then.

The dinner I organised was at Claridges. This was definitely a very memorable event as were the 2 Anniversary weekends in France.

All spectacular with lots of good friends. Very memorable.

Chairman Year


Academy Year


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