The fine wine team – business controller Ranulf Sessions and business managers Mark Davenport and Craig Mitchell – is the third of its type to be assembled by Treasury, with equivalents already in existence in the US and Australia, its top markets outside the UK.
The 200-strong wine portfolio assembled by the team will launch to the UK and Ireland in spring following a tasting in February, and will be drawn from around 25 wineries in Australia, California, Italy and New Zealand, retailing from between £15-£750 per bottle.
The portfolio aims to communicate a quality message and educate UK and Irish consumers about the differences between wine regions, particularly in Australia, which makes up 65% of the range.
Sessions said: “We have wines of the diversity and quality to reinvent what Australian wine is all about in the UK.
“The team I have assembled here is driven by a passion for bringing these wines to market and helping consumers discover the nuances and subtleties of our regional portfolio with wines from Australia, New Zealand, California and Italy.”
The range will include some of the lesser known wines from Treasury Wine Estates’ flagship brands such as Penfolds Bin 620 Cabernet Sauvignon, along with wines from regional wineries such as Baileys and Devils Lair.
Treasury explained that the move was in line with current consumer trends and pointed towards that latest Nielsen figures that showed wines priced at £10 and over wines have grown 24% in the UK off-trade, and Australian wine priced at £10 and above grew 61% in the year to October 2011 .
The team is responsible for selecting the wines and selling to independent retailers, fine wine brokers, multiple specialists and luxury department stores.
Sessions added: “Dealing at the top end of the market we recognise there is a need to act differently to other parts of the TWE business. It’s about being flexible, hand-selling and understanding the market and its needs.”