Shake up at the Austrian Wine Marketing Board

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board enters 2020 with a new managing director and a new division.

Chris Yorke/Anna Stöcher, ÖWM
Chris Yorke/Anna Stöcher, ÖWM

As of this year, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board has both a new managing director and a new wine marketing division, signalling a new strategic direction.

Chris Yorke, a British native who has been global marketing director of New Zealand Winegrowers for the past 15 years, became managing director of the AWMB on 1 January 2020. Since October, he has been touring Austria’s winegrowing regions and meeting key domestic and international contacts.

He replaced Willi Klinger, who led the AWMB from 2007 to 2019, and who, coincidentally, often said that he looked to New Zealand for inspiration. 

Another change is that Christian Zechmeister has been appointed division manager of the newly-created Wine Region Marketing & Markets division, which will be oriented towards origins-based marketing.

“Christian brings with him thirteen years of experience as managing director of Wein Burgenland,” says Chris Yorke. “So he knows the needs of the winegrowing regions inside and out.”

Michael Zimmerman will now take on responsibility for the development of the International Markets division.

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