meet the team

It goes without saying: You can’t create the greatest wine and spirits experiences without an outstanding selection of wines and spirits. And that’s where our buying team comes in. With years of experience and expertise matched with unparalleled passion, our team can uncover and source the most beautiful wines and the best spirits from across the world.

Our mantra

Behind every great wine, every excellent spirit, there’s a special story. Together, these become part of the collective story – the one we all share as discerning drinkers in search of exceptional wine and spirits experiences.

That’s what we celebrate here at United Cellars – the sharing of stories and this collective experience. It’s why our team is the best at what they do. Beyond the products, they care about your story and want to support and enhance your adventures in wine and spirits, from recommending tailored products and sharing important anecdotes about the products, makers, and provenance to educating and entertaining you through tastings, tutorials, and other events.

Richard Horsley

Trade Category Manager

Richard Horsley is a wine buyer based in Byron Bay, Australia, with a passion for discovering the finest wines from around the world. With years of experience in the industry, he has built a reputation as a knowledgeable and skilled professional, with an exceptional palate and a keen eye for quality. He has worked with some of the most prestigious wineries in Australia and abroad, sourcing and selecting the best wines for his clients. Richard's expertise extends to a wide range of varietals, including red, white, and sparkling wines, and he is always on the lookout for exciting new vintages to add to his portfolio. Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice looking to expand your palate, Richard Horsley is the go-to expert for all your wine buying needs.


Michael Russell

Trade Manager - Wine

Michael started working in wine more than a decade ago, and his passion for wines has shown ever since. It all began with a job in wine sales while he was studying at university for a dual degree in marketing and public relations. It led him to simultaneously begin training with WSET (the Wine & Spirit Education Trust), and he has since completed his WSET Level 3 certification. As our wine and spirits buyer, Michael is on the constant search to find the next ‘cracker’ for our customers to enjoy.

Always on the hunt for new and current favourites, Michael’s often talking about new favourite wine, song, band, or book he’s discovered, usually with his ‘wine nerd’ friends. Otherwise, he’s watching his favourite sports and tucking in to his favourite cut of meat. 

Oh … he plays guitar too, but he doesn’t think he’s very good!


Te Rangi Ropata

Buying & Logistics NZ

Te is a New Zealand-grown wine geek.

He migrated to the bright lights of Auckland in the early 2000s, working in bars, restaurants, events management, and customer service. While training bar staff in cocktails, craft beer, and wine, he becomes addicted to the lore and romance of the vine. After eight years in hospitality, he uprooted himself to study wine and travel to vineyards in New Zealand, France, Italy, and South Africa, eventually returning to Auckland and starting with United Cellars in 2017. Working from the ground up to help grow this award-winning portfolio, Te is always hunting for his next ‘desert-island wine’ … and an excuse to open it!



Alistair cooper MW

European Wine Consultant

Alistair is a UK-based Master of Wine who began his wine career working in export management for wineries in Chile and Argentina for many years. He currently works internationally as a consultant, writer, judge, and educator, and in 2019 became the South American wine correspondent for one of the world's most respected wine publications: Since 2005, he has been living back in the UK, working across all aspects of the wine trade, from managing, buying, and consulting for wine bars and restaurants to importing and wholesaling wines.

He passed his WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Diploma in 2012 and was awarded the Derouet Jameson Award for top Diploma student. He then enrolled on the Master of Wine program, which he successfully completed in 2017. He is a regular contributor to consumer and trade magazines, such as Decanter, Meininger's Wine Business International, Harpers, and Drinks International. As a judge, Alistair is a panel chair for the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) and the Decanter World Wine Awards, and he also serves as the president of the Catad’Or Wine Awards, South America’s longest-standing wine competition. He is currently writing a wine guide on the wines of Latin America. His other passions are food, rugby, languages, skiing, running, and being Dad to his awesome girls.



Never want to miss out? Allow Notifications to hear more from us

Remind me later

Thank you! Please check your email inbox to confirm.

Oops! Notifications are disabled.