Foster's Group has appointed the ex-head of Constellation Wines in Australia, John Grant, as vice president of its California wine division.

Grant will be based out of Foster's North American headquarters in Napa Valley and will be responsible for directing all activities of Foster’s California sales teams and distributor management within the state, said Foster's Wine Estates Americas yesterday (31 March).

A spokesperson for Foster's told just-drinks that the role is a newly created position, reflecting the importance of the California market.

Constellation Brands announced in October 2009 that Grant would be leaving the business.

He held the post of president of Constellation Wines Australia for two-and-a-half years until a reshuffle of the business saw the role handed to Constellation Europe president Troy Christensen - who has combined both positions.

Grant became president of regional estates in Australia as a result of the reshuffle.

"John is a highly skilled leader with a proven record of building high performance teams and winning where he competes,” said Mike Holden, senior vice president of sales at Foster's Wine Estates America.