The Foster's-owned wine company, Beringer Blass, has underlined its commitment to European markets by appointing John Philips as managing director, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMA), a newly created post. Philips, who was formerly president of the Guinness UDV Wine Group, will report directly to Beringer Blass managing director, Walt Klenz.

"We are very pleased to have John join Beringer Blass in this pivotal new role," said Klenz. "His depth of experience in the international wine and spirits arena will accelerate the development of our trade business in the EMA region, particularly Europe, and be an invaluable complement to the solid management team already in place there. John's appointment is consistent with our strategy of establishing strong geographic bases from which we can drive our trade business forward throughout the world."

Based in London, Philips will have responsibility for all of Beringer Blass's business in the region and will also oversee all the company's European winery operations including Castello di Gabbiano in Italy, which Beringer Blass bought in 2000.