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Negociants International rebrands under Hill-Smith Family Estates global brand

Barossa-based wine producer and distributor Hill-Smith Family Estates (HSFE)  is rebranding its international distribution business, Negociants International, under the Hill-Smith Family Estates brand to better positions the business for further growth.

The move brings Negociants International under the Hill Smith Family Estate name, alongside its global winemaking, fine wine portfolio and distribution business. The new Hill-Smith Family Estates global marketing and sales team will be led by executive director marketing and sales Jack Glover, who will continue to work with its established distribution network across all international markets, including the UK, US, Canada, and Asia Pacific.

Chairman and fifth-generation proprietor Robert Hill-Smith described the transition of the Negociants International brand to Hill-Smith Family Estates as part of “a natural alignment of assets across international marketing and sales”.

“The wine world is a very different place today than when we established Negociants International in 1985, both in the way sales channels are structured and how we bring it to market,” he explained. “With that evolution, we must adapt, and this strategic change is an opportunity to better support the sales channels and the family-owned wine brands we represent by expanding our marketing and sales capabilities.”

He said that as a family, they had been “fortunate” to see the resilience of the wine industry over more than 175 years  but he said this does not happen “without terrific people who are committed to delivering not just survival but success and being willing to stay the course through thick and thin.” As a result, the business remained “firmly committed” to investing in its people, brands, and the valued relationships it had built over many years with its distribution partners.

The Hill-Smith Family Estate dates its roots back to 1849, when Samuel Smith, Robert Hill-Smith’s great-great-grandfather, purchased a small 10-acre plot of land near Angaston in the Eden Valley to plant vines. In 1923 it established fine wine merchant Samuel Smith & Son and the group has since grown into a sixth-generation winemaking and distribution business (Robert’s daughter Jessica works with the group) with a rich and diverse portfolio of fine wine brands. In 1985 it established Negociants International, building a network of fine wine distributors across more than 50 major and emerging markets, representing family winemakers from Australia and New Zealand.

Its extensive portfolio included HSFE brands Yalumba, Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Jansz Tasmania, and Nautilus Estate, as well as family winemakers Rockford, Henschke, Chris Ringland, Murdoch Hill, Gentle Folk, Ochota Barrels and Kumeu River.

In 2022, the company introduced the Hill Smith Family Estates group identity across its wine brands and vineyard estates, fine wine distribution businesses, and Yalumba Nursery, following a restructure of the business in 2020.

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