Boutinot’s Jo Ahearne MW, officially 'a knight of the great order of wine’
In the world of wine, there are individuals whose expertise and dedication have made a significant impact on the industry. One such individual is Boutinot’s National Accounts Product Manager for Spain, Jo Ahearne MW, whose considerable career has recently been honoured with her investiture into the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino.
Originally created in 1984, the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino recognises those professionals who have worked diligently to promote the quality and diversity of Spanish wines in the UK. Existing fellows annually vote via secret ballot to select new members. Translated literally, each member is officially ‘a knight of the great order of wine’.
Jo was one of three wine professionals inaugurated at the recent annual investiture dinner in central London. Leading figures in the industry assembled to officially welcome the three new Caballeros to the Gran Orden. In her speech Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairperson of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino: said;
“Jo has had an impressive career across Europe and beyond, and her Spanish agencies at Boutinot are very lucky to have her. I’m delighted to say that with Jo Ahearne’s election we are reliably into double figures with women Caballeros. But we still have a way to go to reflect the real diversity of today’s Spanish wine trade.”
Born and raised in the east end of London, Jo began her career in the wine industry, like so many others, at Oddbins. Eager to gain practical experience Jo went to Australia to work on a vintage and once there made the decision to sell her house, and belongings, and enrol in a BSc in Oenology. She made wine for iconic Australian boutique wineries such as Charles Melton and Piper Brook as well as global brands such as Hardy’s and Jacob’s Creek. During the 1990’s she embarked on a successful career as a flying winemaker, undertaking various short-term projects across Spain in regions such as Extremadura, La Mancha, Navarra, and Jumilla, immersing herself in Spanish wine culture.
Following her time in Spain, Jo returned to Australia and spent 9 more years refining her winemaking skills. Eventually, she decided to move back to the UK and took up positions as a winemaker for Marks & Spencer and as head wine buyer for Harrods. If this wasn’t enough, in 2008, Jo completed the Master of Wine qualification.
Jo’s expertise led her to consult in various countries including Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, and Macedonia and she spent time making her own wine on the Croatian Island of Hvar. However, her passion for Spanish wines remained strong leading her to join us here at Boutinot, where she is currently National Accounts Product Manager for Spain.
On receiving her induction into the GOCV, Jo said; “It was an amazing honour to be asked. I am excited to become part of such an amazing group of people who love Spanish wines”.
Her journey, from a passionate young enthusiast to a sought-after wine maker, MW and now Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino, is a testament to her dedication and expertise.
Many Congratulations Jo.