Sir George’s wizard of Oz move

Sir George Fistonich started to make wine because he wanted to be part of the winemaking community and he found the process extremely interesting. (Photo: Supplied)

After Villa Maria’s Australian distributor, Fine Wine Partners, was purchased by Accolade Wines owner, Sir George Fistonich, decided to move one-step closer to his customers by setting up their own distribution company.

“We’ve got a lot of experience as distributors with our own sales force in New Zealand so it was a logical step,” explained Sir George.

In a stroke of genius, Villa Maria will team up with Champagne Bollinger and Henschke who are equal partners in the new distribution company. The combination of three very strong brands is sure to open doors in Australia’s retail and on-sale trade. There is little conflict between the three companies and a heck of a lot of synergies.

“We will be able to personalise three very good companies and allow each to do their own thing,” said Sir George.

The new distribution company, House of Fine Wine, launches on June 1st with six or seven staff, although Sir George believes that will quickly increase to around 15 staff.

“We see the potential to grow significantly in Australia. Because we are focusing on a limited number of brands with different strategies, we can be very efficient and dedicated in all of our sales and marketing efforts. This is a huge opportunity to work more closely with our customers to ensure we are meeting their needs,” Sir George said.

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