The Decanter Power List 2013

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18 Nobutada Saji (12)
President, Suntory, 67
Saji shot into the 2011 Power List thanks to the whisky, soft drinks and restaurant giant’s canny wine acquisitions. Suntory had managed Bordeaux’s Château Lagrange since 1983, and distributed Georges Duboeuf, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, E&J Gallo, Freixenet, Laurent-Perrier and Henriot. It joined forces with Castel to take over Beychevelle and Beaumont and négociants Barrière Frères in 2011. In 2009 the company took a majority stake in ASC Fine Wines (see opposite page), China’s leading fine wine importer. With its 250 restaurants and 200 café-bars, and its domination of the Japanese whisky market with such venerable brands as Yamazaki (into which it has just invested another US$50m) and Hibiki, Suntory continues to exert a major influence over the Asian fine wine scene.