The Vintners’ Benevolent Award for 2016 has been awarded to Caspar and Victoria Bowes, founders of the online wine auction site GrapePip.

The award was announced at The Vintners’ Annual Wine Trade Lunch in aid of The Benevolent, which took place in Vintners’ Hall on January 8.

Over 145 leading figures in the trade saw the Bowes receive the award from chief executive David Cox for their outstanding commitment to supporting The Benevolent trade charity and to raising vital funds for their colleagues in need.

Through GrapePip the Bowes raised £10,000 for The Benevolent, setting up a ‘Lots for Charity’ category on their website which encouraged sellers to donate the proceeds of their sales to the charity.

The couple were also active in raising awareness for the charity and its work among both customers and colleagues in the trade.

GrapePip was founded in 2013 with the aim of becoming the eBay of the wine trade.

It connects lovers of fine wine with wine merchants looking to sell what would otherwise become Bin Ends.

Caspar Bowes said: “We were absolutely delighted to win this award.  We continue to auction wines for charitable causes via our Lots for Charity channel and hope that members of the wine trade will use it on an ongoing basis to clear unwanted stocks for a good cause, and designate The Benevolent as the beneficiary.”

Cox said: “This was the third year that we have jointly presented this coveted award and GrapePip were extremely worthy winners from a shortlist of three candidates. 

“Their initiative was a highly innovative one and we are enormously grateful for the support Caspar and Victoria gave us in 2015.”

The Vintners’ Benevolent Award was established in 2013 to acknowledge the work of those who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the aims of The Benevolent.

Past winners include Ali Mann of Emma Wellings PR for her work in engaging younger professionals iand n the work of the charity, Warren Adamson of Craggy Range, whose ‘Ride Across Britain’ cycling challenge raised over £4,000.

The Wine Trade Lunch itself raised over £14,000 for the Benevolent.