NEW ZEALAND: West Coast Vineyards heads east

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West Coast Vineyards is expanding its operations into Asia and Pacific Rim, having set up a subsidiary company to drive its exports in that region.

Heading up West Coast Vineyards Asia and Pacific Rim, is Peter Milne a wine marketer with 20 years experience. For the past eight years Milne has specialised in Asia, where he helped KWV become the biggest stakeholder for South African wines in that region.

He joins Bennie van Rensburg, managing director of the WCV group and Kosie Möller, chief winemaker and production chief of WCV, having worked closely with both of them in the past.

Having already started putting together a group of agents to market and distribute the WCV portfolio in key markets in the region this broadens the company's platform of operations from the UK, Europe and North America and is expected to see a great deal of volume and turnover growth.

"One of the major attractions in joining WCV is their overall portfolio of wines. We have quality wines in sufficient quantities and in all the price ranges to be able to go in and offer what is needed," said Milne.

"We will also not have to go in and reinvent the wheel - I've done it before and know where the pitfalls and shortcuts are. These are complex markets, which are mainly still in a developmental phase.

"We have inventive ideas which we will be implementing and look forward to becoming a force to be reckoned with there," he added.

Bennie van Rensburg said Milne's joining the group added a new dimension that would strengthen its potential as a role player in the South African industry.

"Pete's been around that block quite a few times and as such Asia is not virgin territory where we will have to stumble around for a few years before we know how to operate in it," he said.

Companies: KWV Ltd

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