The wine trade has paid tribute to Thierry Cabanne in a memorial service at Romsey Abbey.
Family, friends and former colleagues packed the abbey to remember the chairman of Thierry's Wine Services, who died in a car accident on Sept 13.
Three former colleagues of Cabanne - business partner John Hayston and Thierry's buying and managing directors Dominique Vrigneau and Ged Welch - read personal tributes to the well-known and influential character.
remembered Cabanne's "self-effacing charm, extreme modesty, respect, warmth and individualism" and talked about his quirkiness , including his frequent brushes with the traffic police.
"He once phoned me to say 'I can't make the meeting because I'm in jail'," Hayston said.
Cabanne had many business interests outside wine, but was not motivated by money, Hayston told the congregation. "We were fully agreed that pride in what we were doing was sufficient motivation."
Cabanne's shares in Thierry's Wine Services will be returned to the company as "his wish was for things to continue onwards and upwards" Hayston said. "Thierry walked his own path, but he took an awful lot of us with him," he concluded.
Welch read an extract from Kahlil Gibran's poem The Prophet.
The memorial service, held on Oct 5, opened with Frank Sinatra's My Way and concluded with Edith Piaf's Je Ne Regrette Rien.
Existing team become owners of TWS
Ownership of TWS will pass to the current executive team
which comprises commercial director Matthew Dickinson, finance director Hatim Dungarwalla, buying directors Lindsay Talas and Dominique Vrigneau and managing director Ged Welch.
TWS acquired Edward Cavendish from†KWV in 2006 and, as a result, KWV has a stake in TWS , which remains the same.
Managing director Ged Welch said: "Obviously Thierry's death is a sad loss to each of us personally and to our business. It was Thierry's express wish that TWS continue to develop and thrive in the hands of his management team that he had worked hard with us to put in place.
"We are honoured to be able to carry out Thierry's wishes as the new joint owners. We would like to thank our employees, suppliers and customers for their support and best wishes."