Educated in the UK and USA, Ben Howkins is the foremost expert of port and sherry in the UK. He became the youngest person to be awarded the Vintners Scholarship, which gave him the opportunity to spend six months amongst Europe’s finest vineyards, meeting leading wine producers. Ben became one of the first Brand Managers with IDV, later Diageo. By 1970 he had passed both the Wine & Spirit education exams, with Distinction and been awarded the Williams & Humbert sherry Scholarship. He was international sales and marketing director of Croft port and sherry from 1972–1979. Ben became managing director of Morgan Furze, the leading London wine merchants, followed by becoming a director of the independent port producers, the Taylor Fladgate Partnership.
In 1993, he co-founded Royal Tokaji, in Hungary, where Hugh Johnson lead the way. Ben remains a co-founder and director. He has also consulted for Moët & Chandon, Laurent-Perrier, Ruinart and Nicholas.