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New UK team for the California Wine Institute

Published:  04 November, 2016

The California Wine Institute has put together a new team to raise the profile of California in the UK - its largest European export market.

Business partners Justin Knock, MW, and Damien Jackman, owners of London independent wine merchant Philglas & Swiggot, have created a new group called Golden State Wines UK to champion wines from California.

Jackman and Knock will be in charge of individual and chain-based retail promotions as well as promotions in restaurants and hotels.

California's image will be masterminded by R&R Teamwork, who will take care of public and media relations.

Spear Communications will manage the annual tasting event in September.

Knock, a former winemaker, brings extensive experience in California wine production and wine ambassador work across the UK and Europe.

Jackman, Knock's partner in Golden State Wines, is a lawyer and was part of the leadership team for Treasury Wine Estates in the UK and Europe.

In 2015, California wine sales in the UK reached $284 million, and the institute plans to increase sales to the UK to $400 million by the end of the decade.

Total US wine exports - 90% from California - reached a record $1.61 billion in winery revenues in 2015, which marked a 7.6% increase on 2014.

More than 170 California wineries participate in the California Wine Institute International Program and export to 138 countries.

"California vintners are committed to our largest wine export market in Europe and one of the largest export markets for us worldwide," Wine Institute vice president of international marketing, Linsey Gallagher, said.

"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."