Obituary: Michael Druitt

Michael Druitt, a veteran of the UK wine industry, former director of Mentzendorff and co-director of Hallgarten-Druitt has died aged 87.

Michael died on 16 October after a short illness. He worked in the wine industry for 60 years and was a key figure in the UK in that time helping introduce new wines to the UK at a time when wine drinking was just beginning to take off.

Beginning his career as a salesman at Brown, Gore and Welch, in 1962 Michael became director of Mentzendorff, then as now the UK agent for Champagne Bollinger.

In 1975 he left the business and founded Michael Druitt Wines with an enviable and eclectic portfolio of well-known names including Perrier-Jou√ęt, Berberana, Leon Beyer, Brown Brothers and Makers Mark Bourbon.

He was among the first importers to bring wines from California, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand into the UK and in 1996 merged his business with Hallgarten to create Hallgarten-Druitt.

A key wine figure in London he was a supplier to a great many prestigious accounts and clients including the actor Michael Caine, as pictured above in 1975 and which featured in the first edition of Decanter magazine.

Michael retired from Hallgarten-Druitt 10 years ago but remained at least partially involved with the company and some key customers.

He was also part of the judging panel of the Master Sommelier competition and was a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy and children Miranda, Chris and Caroline; another son

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