Cleeves Palmer was born in West Dorset and on leaving school he joined Palmers for a year before undergoing graduate training with Whitbread. He returned to Palmers in 1982 as Sales Manager, becoming Sales Director in 1983. From 1989-2000 he was Marketing and Wine Director, becoming Sales and Marketing Director in 2001. In both his professional and private life, Cleeves has chaired a wide range of good causes, including the restoration of the Real Tennis Court at the Hyde in Walditch. He is a Patron of the Beaminster Community Project and President of the Melplash Show in 2013. A keen ski racer, cricketer and golfer, he is President of the Kandahar Ski Club. Cleeves is married to ‘Dwina and they have a daughter and a son.