Our Team

At Crush we work with people who are excellent in their own field. We all have our own talents to create the best team.  We are very fortunate to have found so many amazing people to work with as well as creating great long-term partners from around the globe.


The producers we chose to work with either own all of their own vineyards or have long-term contracts with their growers. They are passionate, innovative and forward thinking in their approach to winemaking and this control from vineyard to bottle is absolutely essential in producing wines of high quality and unerring consistency. We regularly work alongside these skillful winemakers in the vineyards and wineries to create something extra special: an exciting new blend perhaps, or a wine that completely breaks the mould, or a wine tailor made for a particular market.


Here’s an individual introduction to all of our regulars:

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis

 Managing Director

Chris Ellis founded Crush Wines after twenty-five years in the wine industry. Previously he has worked as Export Director for a large French wine producer and was a founder shareholder of Western Wines. He has also consulted to a number of vineyards, wine producers, distributors and retailers. Chris was at the forefront of the retail wine revolution and has been heavily involved in both production and sales and marketing. He created, sourced and developed brands such as Kumala and Isla Negra and was the first person to bring in brands such as Cono Sur to the European Market.


Edward Vellacott

International Sales Executive

English by birth, Edward was brought up in the South of France from the age of nine.  After completing his French Baccalaureate he returned to the UK to study Management and Spanish at the University of Leeds, the highlight of which was spending a year working in the export division of a Spanish winery in Madrid.  Edward’s trustworthy personality allied with his interpersonal and communication skills continuously help him build strong cross-cultural relationships.  He is currently completing his WSET Level 3 Diploma.

Helen Day - Crush Wines

Helen Day

Financial Controller

Helen is the heart of our business, she holds the purse strings and heads up the finance team! Helen has always had an interest in wine and since becoming part of the Crush team has been able to  pursue this passion and has recently passed her WSET Advanced certificate.


Imogen Atkins

Sales and Marketing Executive


Imogen Atkins is a keen linguist with a particular passion for building relationships with people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds. Her enthusiasm for wine began during her third year of university, which was spent abroad in Spain completing a marketing and customer relationship management internship in a bodega in La Rioja. She then went on to work in a winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, perfecting her French and furthering her knowledge of French wine. Since graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and Spanish, she has worked in a variety of wine merchants and has explored some of the world’s finest wine regions in New Zealand, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina on a 6-month travelling trip. She is currently working towards her WSET Diploma. 


Claudia Bastiaensen

Regional Export Manager

Claudia is native Dutch and has international work experience in both the drinks industry and luxury goods. She developed her olfactory skills while working at perfume houses such as Dior. She then moved to the drinks business and worked for Heineken and Vranken-Pommery in different sales and marketing roles. Claudia’s passion for wine and fluency in the French language, comes from her 7-year stay in Paris. Claudia has her WSET Diploma and has her own wine tasting and education business.


Linda Ellis

Office Manager

Linda makes sure our office is perfect. Along with Helen she helps keep us all in check, ensuring the regular influx of samples and deliveries are logged and processed. Linda organises our regular QC tastings and takes great pleasure in hosting growers and winemakers.

Sasha Howard

Sasha Howard

Portfolio Consultant

Sasha is our Portfolio Consultant, she is a Mandarin speaker living in London but has lived in China on and off since 2008. After graduating from university with a degree in Chinese language and culture she embarked on a career which fed her interest in the growing relationship between the UK and China.

Her passions are writing travel articles for Chinese publications and discovering new culinary hot spots in London.