New Austrian Wine Board director named

Chris Yorke has been named as the new head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB), taking over from the departing Willi Klinger.

Yorke will take over in January 2020 with an induction phase beginning in October 2019.

Chosen from among 90 candidates for the position, the British-born Yorke studied in Switzerland and previously worked for Sony in Germany.

From 2002 to 2004 he moved to New Zealand as managing director of American Express NZ and since 2004 has been global marketing director of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Yorke commented: “I have always admired the Austrian wine industry for its high quality wines, which are sustainably produced from a beautiful country with friendly people.

“The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has a strong reputation for excellent initiatives in Austria and overseas and I look forward to joining the team, meeting the grape growers and winemakers and contributing to this exciting growth phase for Austrian wine.”

Johannes Schmuckenschlager, viticulture president, said: “I am overwhelmed by the number of applications for this position. It demonstrates the strong reputation of Austrian wine.

“We are very pleased to have secured a new managing director who is experienced in exports, from a leading premium wine country – New Zealand. We look forward to having Chris Yorke strongly support and promote export interests of Austrian winemakers.”

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