California Wine Institute names new UK representation

04 November 2016

Great news for Cali wine lovers as the California Wine Institute has announced that Golden State Wines UK will be its new representation in the UK market.

The team will be led by Justin Knock MW and Damien Jackman. The duo will manage trade representation and serve as brand ambassadors, with R&R Teamwork providing public and media relations.

Both Knock and Jackman have a wealth of experience in the trade – Knock was previously a winemaker and has made wine in Australia, Spain and France, before more recently being a well respected wine spokesperson and judge. Meanwhile, Jackman was part of the executive leadership team for Treasury Wine Estates.

Justin Knock MW (left) and Damien Jackman
Justin Knock MW (left) and Damien Jackman

The annual tasting event will now be held in September rather than earlier in the year, and will be managed by Spear Communications.

'California vintners are committed to our largest wine export market in Europe and one of the largest export markets for us worldwide,' said the Wine Institute's 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.'

Californian wine sales reached $284m in 2015, and the California Wine Institute are hoping to bump that figure up to $400m by 2020.

The UK office of the Wine Institute of California closed at the end of September due to 'severe cuts in funding under the Market Access Programme [MAP] from the US Department of Agriculture'.

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