Celebrating International Women’s Day!

Meet Kim Wilson Managing Director from wine importer North South Wines Ltd

Really excited to introduce Kim who we are working with to celebrate Sicilian wines throughout the month of March. Let’s find out more about her journey in the wine trade, winning prestigious awards and of course her favourite Sicilian wine!

1. When did you first find your love of wine?

I was working for Carlsberg in a sales role and in all honesty just thought wine looked more glamorous but was not a wine drinking and knew nothing about it! I started working for a South African branded called Arniston Bay that had their own office in the UK at the time back in 2005. Jeremy Borg (now Painted Wolf Wines who we distribute) interviewed me for the cash and carry sales role and gave me the job on the spot! I was with them for 6 months and then they merged with Ehrmanns wine agencies. I was transferred over and then worked my way up to Sales director in 2009. I stayed until early 2014 and then decided to leave and start North South Wines boosted by the confidence of De Bortoli and The Wines People wanting to be part of something new. 10 years later and hard slog and here we are today. NSW is a multi channelled wine business with over 500 customers, 35 wineries, Turnover of £27M and selling a ‘few’ bottles of wine!

2. Did you always know you would work with within wine – how did it happen?

No not at all!! I knew I loved selling and I knew to be good at it I needed to be passionate about the product I was selling. I just though wine looked fun! Pretty naive but I found my place!

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?

Meeting so many amazing passionate people! Building brands together and then seeing them on shelf!

4. What is your most memorable moment of a wine career to date, whether that is meeting wine producer, a wine visit or tasting a particular wine?

Winning Young achieve at Drinks Business awards in 2013 – it was so unexpected and just really humbling as I was just doing my day job in my mind. This gave me the confident to know that I was valued and highly regarded so why not think about doing your own thing? The first day of NSW was very memorable… I think it was fear! Hahaha!

5. Have you ever come across challenges being a women working in wine?

Yes lots! In the early days of NSW there were some wineries that looks a bit odd at a young, blonde, bubbly female trying to persuade then to join a new business with not much history!

I also felt in the early days that I didn’t fit the wine trade’ mould’. The industry is very traditional, and male dominated and I was desperate to ‘fit’ in and just became something I wasn’t to try to do this. It was at Covid lockdown when I had my lightbulb moment to just be me and if that wasn’t good enough that was ok. It was like a weight lifted overnight and the business went from strength to strength and the whole team dynamic changed.

6. What do you do when you aren’t working?

Spend time with my beautiful doggies – they are my babies, Josie a black Lab and Lyla Rose a Red Fox Lab. ?

7. What is your favourite Sicilian Wine? 

Cortese Organic Nerello Mascalese Terre Siciliane – yummy!

8. What is desert island wine?

Billecart Salmon Rose – I can’t get enough of the stuff! Mandois Victor Rose is starting to take over tho now in the portfolio!

9. What are is your favourite food and wine match?

Cornish Fish and Chips with the above – it’s a tradition every time I go to Cornwall!?