Sebastian Payne MW joined the wine trade in 1970 at Fred May, a shipper specialising in the wines of France, Germany and Hungary. Three years later he joined The Wine Society as promotions manager, responsible for publications, and in 1977 he passed his MW.
Payne was appointed chief buyer in 1985, has travelled to all of the world’s major wine regions, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole. In 1995, he served as chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, and in 1996 he was chairman of the Masters of Wine examiners. Having stepped down as chief buyer, Payne remains an integral part of The Wine Society’s buying team and currently sources its Italian and Eastern European wines, as well as writing for the Society List and website.
Sebastian Payne MW was first a judge at the DWWA in 2007.