The Decanter Power List 2013

41 of 52

11 John D Watkins (–)
CEO, ASC Fine Wines (age withheld)
The Chinese fine wine scene has changed since Suntory-owned ASC, under then-CEO Don St Pierre Jr, made no7 in the 2011 Power List. In 2012, St Pierre gave the reins to John D Watkins, president and CEO of an avionics company, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China – and ASC’s first home delivery customer. Watkins has taken over a company that has seen its oncedominant market share nibbled at by C&D Wine (see above), plus the government’s crackdown on gifting spells trouble for importers of fine wine. However, ASC is still the biggest of the foreign-owned importers. It has over 1,200 staff and warehouses across China. It represents DBR Lafite, Beringer, Kendall-Jackson, Wolf Blass and Penfolds, Gaja, Ruffino, Banfi, Louis Jadot, Guigal and many other prestige brands, generating revenues of US$200m. ASC’s next move is to find a domestic partner to improve distribution and expand the business.