Wines of South Africa is upping its focus on the US with the appointment of a country manager for the market.

The newly-created role, announced back in September, will be filled by Annette Badenhorst, the current market manager for the Benelux countries. Subsequent to the development, the trade body announced late last week that Sara Channell will replace Badenhorst in Europe.

Both changes will take effect from 1 January.

Having worked in the South African wine industry for 12 years, the last two of which have been covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg for WoSA, Badenhorst will spend this month working with Channell in Europe, before moving to the US.

“Wine and Food Associates has been WoSA's representative in the US for the past 11 years,” WoSA said. “We will retain Rory Callahan's services … as a consultant to assist Annette as she sets up the new office.”

A Netherlands resident for ten years, Channell has worked with Dutch wine importers such as Great Grapes, Baarsma and Poot Agenturen. She also worked for South African wine importer Raisin Social in the UK.