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New Leader for Wine Industry

New Leader for Wine Industry

Balance of supply and demand key to sustainable success

New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation representing the country’s 1300 grape growers and winemakers, announced today the election of Stuart Smith as chair and George Fistonich as deputy chair.

The election comes as the New Zealand grape and wine industry enters one of its most exciting and challenging phases, both domestically and internationally.

Smith is a Marlborough grape grower and proprietor of boutique Marlborough winery Fairhall Downs. Fistonich, based in Auckland, and is one of the most well-known figures in the New Zealand wine industry and is proprietor of Villa Maria Estate.

Smith said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead.

"New Zealand Winegrowers needs to continue to build and enhance the recognition for New Zealand wine as a premium product, in both domestic and international markets. We must ensure we maintain a good balance between demand and supply and address matters such as research, international market access and sustainability.

"The continuing growth and success of the New Zealand wine industry will be achieved through building on the core philosophy that founded New Zealand Winegrowers. This is having all the diverse elements of the industry including grape growers and winemakers, large and small companies, through all regions united for, and working on behalf of, the entire industry."

Smith succeeds Brian Vieceli, who stepped down from the role in August.

"Being elected as chair of New Zealand Winegrowers by my industry peers and colleagues is one of the highlights of my career. It is also an honour to succeed Brian Vieceli, who has worked tirelessly over many years on behalf of this industry," said Smith.


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