Justin Knock MW is no longer working with the California Wine Institute and joint directors Justine McGovern and Damien Jackman will lead its UK operations going forwards.

Long-term business partners Knock and Jackman became UK ambassadors for the Golden State’s wines in 2016. At the time, vice president for international marketing Linsey Gallagher called them a “dream team”.

Gallagher has now left to become president at Visit Napa Valley and Honore Comfort has served as vice president of international marketing since April.

She said: “As we begin our new fiscal year, we are mapping out our strategies and growth plans, not only for this year, but for the next three to years to come.

“It’s an exciting time for California wine with up and coming winemakers making fresh, appealing wines and looking for new markets.

“At the same time, there is a long history of innovation in California’s wine industry that is not well known.

“We are thrilled to have Justine and Damien in the UK bringing these wines, and the stories behind them, to the market.”

McGovern has worked for the Wine Institute since 2005 and she has been UK & Ireland director since January 2017. Jackman worked at Treasury Wine Estates with Knock and they co-own London indie retailer Philglass & Swiggot. Knock is now “focusing on his broader wine interests”.

The Wine Institute will host two UK tastings during the 2019/20 financial year: an Essential California tasting featuring wines with an rrp of less than £50, and a Collectable California tasting for wines selling for north of £50