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Wines of South Africa appoints CEO

Wines of South Africa has appointed marketing specialist Siobhan Thompson as its new chief executive.

Thompson will succeed Su Birch from November, the wine trade body said this week, although Birch is expected to remain with the group until the end of the year ‘to ensure a smooth handover’.

Since 2010, Thompson has been global head of marketing for liqueurs at South African drinks group Distell, with a particular focus on the Amarula brand.

She was previously Distell’s group general marketing manager for brandies and Cognac, including Bisquit, and has also worked for the firm’s sparkling wines business.

Thompson’s appointment comes amid a growing profile for premium South African wines. Distell has launched its Cape Legends business, which is seeking to promote fine wines from several estates across the country, including Zonnebloem, Nederburg and Fleur du Cap.

‘Her seasoned exposure to traditional and developing markets and her conversancy with the alcohol category inspire great confidence,’ said Wines of South Africa (WoSA) chairman, Johann Krige.

Written by Chris Mercer

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