Paul Schaafsma left Accolade Wines just over a year ago

Paul Schaafsma left Accolade Wines just over a year ago

Former Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma has been named as a director of New Zealand crowd-funded wine producer Invivo.

Schaafsma will serve as a new independent director on the board of Invivo, which owns the Graham Norton wine brand and recorded a 70% sales rise in its last year of trading. He stood down as Accolade CEO in August 2016 after less than a year in the role, and was previously at rival wine company Australian Vintage.

Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne described his appointment as an "incredible coup for the company", adding: "We spent a long time finding the right director to join our board, but when we spoke with Paul it was obvious he shared the same ideas about brand building and standing out from the crowd as we do."

Invivo secured investment in a crowd-funding campaign in 2015, and expects the Graham Norton brand to sell more than 2m bottles this year.

The company plans to develop its own winery and launch a Graham Norton Prosecco DOC product later this year.

For an exclusive, two-part just-drinks interview with Paul Schaafsma from early-2016, click here