Alistair Viner joined the trade in 1988 with Geoffrey Roberts working in a team of three to run the Winery and Les Amis du Vin shops. He then travelled extensively for five years, ending up in South Africa, gaining valuable experience at Villiera Estate before running Vaughan Johnson's, a new fine wine shop in Cape Town. On returning to the UK he joined Harrods in 1995 (tea and coffee department) and took over as manager of the wine department in 1996. From there he progressed to the role of assistant buyer and took over the buying in September 2000. Since then, he has focused on education not only for the staff, but also for the customer.