He will take up the post on Feb 3, 2014, and spend his time in Accolade’s major markets, working from bases in Australia and the UK.
Ratcliffe was in charge at Oddbins in the 1990s, a period now widely regarded as being its heyday. Since leaving the company he has been one of the wine industry’s leading consultants.
John Haddock, managing director and Accolade project director at Accolade owner Champ Private Equity, said: “John has been a key adviser to the company throughout Champ’s involvement with Accolade.
“Through his work on key strategic initiatives it became increasingly apparent that John’s capabilities were an ideal fit for leadership of the company.”
Ratcliffe said: “Accolade is a business with momentum and potential. I am very much looking forward to leading such a strong and highly experienced management team.”
Accolade’s brands include includes Hardys, Banrock Station, Echo Falls and Stowells.