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11/05/2009

Ara harvests top marketing people

Marlborough producer Winegrowers of Ara has this week announced the appointment of three top wine brand managers to lead its market growth in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Commercial director Sue Henderson announced the three appointments today after a detailed international recruitment process.

“We haven’t compromised in the development of our vineyards or wines so it was critical that we invested in great people,” Sue said. “With an exceptional team in place, we’re now confident that the Ara brand will thrive as we launch into our key markets during 2009.”

Matthew Fitz-Gerald has been appointed as business development manager for Australasia and will be based in Sydney. Matthew joins Ara after 10 years experience in sales, business development and account management roles with Brown Brothers, Foster's Wine Estates and Southcorp.

“We’re really excited about Matt’s capabilities and experience in business planning, sales strategy and product distribution in Australia and New Zealand,” Sue said.

Jane Bennett has been appointed as brand manager, New Zealand. Previously, Jane has held marketing and brand management roles with Constellation New Zealand and the Nobilo Wine Group.

“Jane brings a wealth of knowledge to the role with diverse experience in our home front, the New Zealand wine market,” Sue said.

Finally, Julie Williams has been appointed as brand manager, UK & Mainland Europe. Having worked with some of the world’s finest wine brands including Peter Lehmann Wines, Champagne Lanson and Robert Mondavi, Julie brings outstanding experience to her new role at Ara.

“When working in such a competitive and congested wine market such as the UK, we required a person with a huge depth of knowledge,” Sue said. “Julie fitted the bill perfectly.”

This announcement follows the news in April that Eurowine Fine Wines Ltd has signed up to distribute the full range of Ara wines across New Zealand, joining Winefusion, Ara's distribution partner in Australia, and DGB Europe, Ara’s UK agent for branded wines in both the off and on-trade.

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