Australia's government and industry body the Australian Wine Export Council is to expand its European Union marketing and promotions operations.

Two new appointees will replace its London based veteran Hazel Murphy who is not renewing her contract after nearly 18 years. AWEC general manager Jonathan Scott said Paul Henry will be the London based regional manager responsible for the UK and Ireland.

Marco Tiggerman, a Dutch national, will head a new office in the Netherlands to promote "wine brand Australia" in other EU countries. This will be in addition to the AWEC's Frankfurt based operation.

The UK and Ireland take nearly 50% of Australia's current A$2.16 billion, (US$1.19 billion), exports while the EU excluding Britain and Ireland accounts for nearly 13% of the global annual total.