Appelation Marlborough Wine Appoints New CEO Michael Wentworth

Appellation Marlborough Wine is excited to announce Michael Wentworth as its Chief Executive Officer. Michael’s appointment commences on 15 April, 2024 in what is a new position within the member-led organisation.

With global recognition of Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) on the rise, the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer was deemed essential to the organisation’s continued success. “AMW is the future of Marlborough’s wine industry. Our members are leading wine growers with a long-term commitment to protecting and enhancing our region,” says AMW Chair, John Buchanan. “Our board was unanimous in its decision to seek out an exceptional CEO to support our efforts and drive the organisation forward.”

New Appellation Marlborough Wine Chief Executive Officer - Michael Wentworth
New Appellation Marlborough Wine Chief Executive Officer – Michael Wentworth

Michael Wentworth will be a familiar face to the New Zealand wine industry, and beyond. He brings a wealth of experience to AMW, with over 20 years of working directly with NZ wineries including sales, marketing, operations and sustainability roles. Michael’s education underpins these credentials, with diplomas in Wine Business and Wine Sensory Analysis as well as a Bachelor of Horticulture (Hons).

“What Appellation Marlborough Wine has achieved in a few short years is phenomenal,” says Michael. “Their single-minded focus on protecting and enhancing Marlborough’s wine quality is to be admired. I am really looking forward to working alongside many of the region’s flagship wine producers and elevating their collective efforts globally.”

Since its establishment in 2018, AMW has continually refined its architecture. “We have worked inherently to strengthen AMW’s position as the quality mark for Marlborough wine,” says John. “Our membership now exceeds 50 wineries and our certification program incorporates all varieties grown within the region.”

In 2022, AMW introduced the Appellation Marlborough Wine Annual Collection. “It’s a celebration of Sauvignon Blanc,” says John. A blind tasting is undertaken by three impartial judges before a selection of 12 Sauvignon Blancs is made. “The aim is to highlight the quality and distinctive flavour on offer when you choose 100% Marlborough.”

Last year, AMW announced the release of the Wine Map of Marlborough. Created by the Marlborough Wine Map Collective and gifted to AMW and its members for their use, it is the first map of its kind for the Marlborough grape growing region. “It is a vital resource in understanding the subregional detail and diversity of Marlborough,” says John. “We are proud to make it available to the wine community via our website.”

“Up until this point, AMW’s growth has been rather organic,” says John. “We’ve made significant in-roads with wine buyers and enthusiasts over the past few years and it is critical that we capitalise on this momentum. As CEO, Michael will be well placed to assist us. He has a diverse and savvy skillset and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.” ENDS


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