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15/05/2009

Bill Spence steps down as general manager

Bill Spence, co-founder of Matua Valley Wines will step down as general manager on 30 June 2009 after 35 years in the position.

Bill and his brother Ross were the first winery to commercially produce Sauvignon Blanc in NZ; the variety for which New Zealand has become world renowned. New Zealand Wine Exports are this year expected to top one $1b, the majority being Sauvignon Blanc.

Bill Spence was also the founding chairman of the NZ Export Wine Guild, a position he held for many years, working side by side with the Government and the wine industry to develop a foundation for NZ Wine Exports, initially into the UK, Australian and European markets.

Bill retained the role as general manager at Matua Valley Wines, after the company was purchased by Fosters Australia (in 2001). He has continued to look after production and trade supply throughout NZ.

After Spence steps down at the end of June, he will remain with Matua Valley Wines until 30 September 2009, acting as advisor, and overseeing the future direction of the production and supply business.

Following this time, Bill Spence will stay on as Brand Ambassador for Matua Valley Wines and will still be actively involved in the wine industry, where he is well respected in both the national and international market place.

“It is now the right time to step down from the production side of the business. I am leaving behind a capable team. I am looking forward to getting back to representing the brand around the world which is what I love,” Spence said.

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