Paul Schaafsma

Paul Schaafsma

Paul Schaafsma
Managing Director & Founder

Paul Schaafsma has enjoyed a career in the wine industry spanning over 25 years. His passion, enthusiasm and ability to innovate have ensured the success and relevance of the wine companies he has been associated with.

Prior to establishing Benchmark Drinks, Paul was CEO of Accolade Wines, the fifth largest wine company in the world.

Under Paul’s leadership Accolade’s global revenue exceeded AUD$1billion driven by his team of 1700 employees working across Australia, New Zealand (NZ), UK, China, Japan, South East Asia, USA, Chile, Canada and South Africa.

Prior his appointment as CEO, Paul was General Manager of Accolade UK and Ireland, the largest wine company in that region.

During this time, he become one of the leading spokesmen for the Australian wine industry in the UK. This culminated in being awarded “Man of the Year” by Drinks Business magazine in 2015.

Before joining Accolade Wines, Paul was the entrepreneurial driving force behind McGuigan Wines in the UK. Relocating from Australia in 2005, Paul launched McGuigan from the basement of his home in Clapham. Taking it to a market leader in the UK and Ireland by 2012.

Born in Australia, Paul has extensive experience of the Australian domestic market as well as the UK, Europe, Asia and the Sub Continent.

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Gordon Ramsay and Alberto Antonini are a match made in heaven; they each strive to create top quality products in their own fields and together they’ve blended a beautiful collection of wines. We’re delighted to have partnered with them.

Paul Schaafsma, Benchmark Drinks

It was a huge pleasure to collaborate on this project with Alberto Antonini, one of Italy’s greatest winemakers. I'm very proud of what we’ve created and hope food and wine lovers across the UK love it as much as I do.

Gordon Ramsay  

It was clear within 10 minutes of sitting down with Paul and his team that they knew what they were doing. It’s a very dangerous thing putting your name on something – it’s got to be bloody good, and it’s got to be done properly

Gary Barlow, The Drinks Business October 2021
Phone: +44 (0)204 531 4900
London, United Kingdom