Constellation Brands has said that Andrey Grumondz will be the wine giant's first sales director to be based in Russia, as it looks to boost wine sales in the country.

Constellation Europe told just-drinks today (17 September) that Grumondz will head its Russian operations, after confirming yesterday that it had set up a Russian base.

Grumondz, previously key account director for Diageo in Russia, will work alongside Constellation's Russian distributor, Whitehall.

"This appointment signals a long-term commitment by Constellation Europe to grow its distribution and sales volume in Russia," the firm said. Wine brands already distributed in Russia include Hardys, Robert Mondavi, Kumala and Nobilo.

Russia's wine market remains at the early stages of development, but grew at an average 20.6% per year between 2001 and 2006, according to figures from market research group Datamonitor.