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Sainsbury’s wine team shake-up

Sainsbury’s has confirmed the departure of two members of its wine team, with senior wine buyer Julian Dyer going to Australian Vintage and winemaker Clem Yates MW joining Off-Piste Wines.

After 16 years as a Sainsbury’s buyer, Dyer (left) has been recruited by Australian Vintage to help develop the company’s off-trade business. Joining the company in March, he will work alongside Paul Schaafsma, Australian Vintage general manager for the UK & Europe.

Meanwhile Yates, who was awarded her MW last year, will step into the role of sourcing and supply director for Off-Piste Wines, also in March. Having joined Sainsbury’s in 2009, she was involved in developing the retailer’s range of own-label wines.

Describing Dyer’s move as “another feather in our cap”, Schaafsma commented: “Australian Vintage is committed to the UK market and we need professionals of his calibre to help us continue to develop our brands in the off-trade. We are absolutely delighted to welcome him on board.”

In return, Dyer said of his new role: “I am very much looking working with Paul and the Australian Vintage team. I believe that they are one of the most forward thinking and innovative Australian brand owners working in Europe at the moment and it will be a great opportunity for me to be involved with some great brands and a vibrant and hard-working team.”

Andy Phelps, category manager for BWS at Sainbury’s, recognised Dyer’s “significant contribution to the development of our own label wines”, adding: “We wish him well in his new role.”

While Yates’ role is going to be filled for the moment by Sainsbury’s second winemaker Lucy Clements, with support from the retailer’s buying team, Dyer’s replacement has yet to be announced. Phelps commented: “We are currently reviewing the structure of our wine team and will announce any changes in due course, keeping our customers’ needs and the quality of our offerings as the absolute priority for our business.”

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