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Villa Maria winemaker Alastair Maling moves to Foley Family Wines

Published:  01 June, 2015

Alastair Maling MW, the general manager winemaking at Villa Maria is set to leave the New Zealand winery at the end of June to join Foley Family Wine.

Alastair Maling MW, the general manager winemaking at Villa Maria is set to leave the New Zealand winery at the end of June to head up the team at Foley Family Wines.

He will join the senior management team at Foley Family Wines, with primary responsibility for overseeing winemaking and viticulture at the company's four vineyards, Martinborough Vineyards and Te Kairanga in Martinborough and Vavasour and Grove Mill in Marlborough. He will also work closely with the executive, sales and marketing teams.

The New Zealand's winery's brands include Grove Mill, Vavasour, Martinborough Vineyard which includes the Russian Jack Sauvignon Blanc.

Mark Turnbull NZ chief executive at Foley Family Wines said Maling would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, not just of viticulture and winemaking but also from a sales and marketing, commercial and strategic perspective.

"The past few years have seen FFW invest heavily in its wineries, vineyards, bottling and most recently warehousing, providing a strong foundation for future growth. Maling's addition to the senior management team will help take the business to the next level, providing the capabilities we need to move it forward," he said. 

The company plans to invest heavily into the Grove Mill brand , which has seen significant growth in the UK over the last 18 months, according to Tony Allen, UK and Europe account manager. He said it would be great to see the brand regain its former position as one of Marlborough's renowned wineries. "Grove Mill will be a key winery in our portfolio and we look forward to appointing a new UK distributor and seeing it back on UK shelves," he said. "We are now ready to take our business to the next level - working with Alistair should enable our continued growth and success."

Villa Maria's chief executive officer, Sir George Fistonich said Maling had played an important role in the development of Villa Maria, where he was in charge of winemaking, grape sourcing and pricing, contracts and blending, as well as working to boost the brand and develop its export markets. 

"He has ensured that deep rooted foundations have been laid to maintain the quality of our winemaking portfolio as the business has grown. We know that Alastair will enjoy his new challenge at Foley Family Wines, but also that he will always be a Villa Maria advocate, working to keep New Zealand wine at the cutting edge."

He added that Maling's legacy was an outstanding winemaking team with the experience and expertise to continue Villa Maria's growth and reputation on the global stage.

The Villa Maria viticulture team will be led by Oliver Powrie, supported by Nick Picone, Dave Roper, Helen Morrison and Josh Hammond.