About Us


Manchester Wine School is owned by Manchester-based wine writer Simon Woods.

Since abandoning a career in computer systems design in 1988 to indulge his two hobbies, wine and writing, Simon has been co-coordinator of the annual International Wine Challenge, a columnist for The Financial Times ‘The Business’ magazine, editor of the award-winning annual Which? Wine Guide and a contributor to numerous magazines. He's judged at wine competitions on four continents and has written several books, some of which you can purchase here.


Phil has always had a love of wine, although he was only in a position to pursue this passion when he moved from a career working in Commercial Finance to a job working in the retail sector.

His employer sent him on a wine course; this made him realise that there was so much more to the world of wine. He decided that he wanted to learn more, broaden his knowledge and ultimately share what he had learned.

Phil then studied and completed his WSET levels 2 and 3 passing with distinctions in both. He has worked with wine buyers and producers and travelled extensively visiting many wine regions.

JACK TOVEY- Wine Tutor

Jack has worked in the wine industry for over 10 years. Most of which has been in retail giving him a very keen eye to spot the bargains in the shops! He gained his WSET level 3 early in his wine career.

His work and passion for wine has led him to visit over 150 vineyards all over the world. He has worked at various wineries working on everything from picking to bottling.

When he's not improving his wine product knowledge at home, he can be found exploring the food and drink scene on his doorstep in the centre of Manchester.

SARAH RAWLINGS - Administrator

Sarah is our office administrator. Her diverse background includes a 5-year stint in the IT industry, being a Kindergarten teacher in Japan and several years in the Travel industry, where is goes without saying, she took full advantage of the perks of a job in travel!

As a mum of two young children the biggest challenge to her organisational skills, is keeping on top of the kids' social lives.

A keen beer drinker, Sarah is being converted to all things wine, and recently completed WSET Level 3 passing with distinction! 


Jason discovered his love of the alcoholic grape juice in his university days. After realising that there was indeed a difference between the wine he was spending money on compared to his usual plonk at the corner shop, he went to a wine tasting hosted by Manchester Wine School. It was on South American wines and the insight into the importance of altitude in Argentina was enough to perk his curiosity in wine! He rolled on to the WSET course to find out more and the rest is history.

Jason uses his wine knowledge to teach WSET courses here and also manage a wine shop/bar in the city centre of Manchester.

He is a bit of a fortified wine nut and always seems happiest with a glass of sherry in hand! He takes annual trips to Jerez and Porto to keep up to date with current trends, and to get a tan in the Portuguese or Andalusian sunshine!

Jason has a fantastic pass rate for his students and consistently positive feedback.


Manchester Wine School is a trading name of String & Timber Wine Limited. Registered in England and Wales No 9322873. 37 Wool Road, Dobcross, Oldham, OL3 5NS







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