The Spanish wine and brandy company Gonzalez Byass has announced the appointment of two new staff to its UK team.

The company said on Friday (1 February) that Suzanne Strain will take on the newly-created role of wine director to build upon the sales potential of its range of new Spanish wines, while Michelle Downs has become on-trade business manager.


Strain, who was previously director for Flagstone UK, has also worked for companies including Western Wines and Edward Cavendish.


Downs, who is now responsible for on-trade wholesalers, has previously worked at Maxxium, Delegats and Laurent-Perrier in brand and account management roles.

Gonzalez Byass UK managing director Martin Skelton said: "We're delighted to welcome Suzanne and Michelle on board. Both bring a range of experience to their respective roles, and the team are looking forward to making the most of their fresh ideas and thinking.  The creation of a new wine director role demonstrates our confidence in the range, and our readiness to really step up our presence in the UK market during 2008."