SAN FRANCISCO—The California Wine Institute has announced a new team for California wines in the United Kingdom market. Golden State Wines UK, led by wine industry veterans Justin Knock, MW, and Damien Jackman, will manage trade representation and serve as brand ambassadors. R&R Teamwork will provide public relations and media relations and Spear Communications will manage the annual tasting event.
“California vintners are committed to our largest wine export market in Europe and one of the largest export markets for us worldwide,” said Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing Linsey Gallagher. “We are so excited to have this ‘dream team’ come together to support ‘our category-building efforts in the very important UK market. We have a strong California wines brand in the UK with positive trends, and we have ambitious plans to accelerate our sales to the UK in the future.”
In 2015, California wine sales in the UK reached $284 million. California Wine Institute plans to increase sales to the UK to $400 million by the end of the decade. In 2015, total U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, reached $1.61 billion in winery revenues, an all-time record and a 7.6 percent increase from 2014.
Golden State Wines’ Justin Knock, MW, has extensive experience in California wine production and wine ambassador work across the UK and Europe. He is a former winemaker and has made wine in Australia, Spain and France. He is a respected press spokesperson, wine judge and speaker on a broad range of wine topics. Damien Jackman, Justin’s partner in Golden State Wines, is a lawyer and was part of the executive leadership team for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) in the UK and Europe. As general counsel for TWE, Jackman had responsibility for government and regulatory issues across all UK and European markets, including labeling, excise and importation issues. Jackman and Knock’s prior experience will allow them to develop strategies for individual and chain-based retail promotions as well as promotions in restaurants and hotels supporting California Wines. In addition to focusing on London, California Wines programming will be expanded throughout the country. Golden State Wines UK will be supported by R&R Teamwork, an independent drinks and food PR agency based in London. The team specializes in public relations, new product development, and marketing of drink and food brands.
Rounding out the team is Spear Communications, a wine specialist PR and event agency that will be responsible for the California Wines Annual Tasting set to take place in September 2017 in London. Spear Communications has organized many generic trade tastings including the Annual Wines from Spain Trade Fair and the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.
More than 170 California wineries participate in the California Wine Institute International Program and export to 138 countries supported by 15 representative offices around the world which develop markets for California wines in 25 countries. California Wine Institute has representatives in Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Nordics, Denmark, Poland, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia (Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia) and Mexico.