Su Birch, the head of Wines of South Africa, is leaving the organisation after 13 years of promoting the country's wines around the world.
Su Birch: ‘most influential’
Birch, widely admired for her efforts to promote sustainability and ethical business practices in the South African wine industry, said she would be pursuing a personal project which had been put off ‘for too long’.
Named last year as one of the 10 most influential personalities in the world of wine by market analysts Wine Intelligence, Birch has also won awards for her contributions to sustainability and for raising the profile of women in the industry.
‘I shall be leaving Wines of South Africa with a sound international team in place at the same time that the country has evolved into a significant player in world wine markets, well on its way to capturing and building on new opportunities,’ Birch said.
After a brief sabbatical, she plans to focus on marketing for a number of industries from the beginning of next year.
Birch leaves WOSA at the end of September, following the inaugural Beautiful South wine exhibition for South Africa, Chile and Argentina in London, which she was instrumental in conceiving and organising.
The event is the culmination of her role as one of the key drivers in encouraging New World countries to work together, most notably uniting South Africa, New Zealand, the US, Chile and Argentina at Germany’s annual ProWein trade fair.
A search for Birch’s replacement will be held in the coming weeks. The organisation has no obvious replacement in mind at this stage.
Written by Richard Woodard