The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) has created a new division in order to further strengthen the nation’s global reach.

The news coincides with Chris Yorke’s official start in his role of AWMB managing director, following a familiarisation process, which began in October 2019. Yorke took over from Willi Klinger, who was managing director from 2007 until 2019.

Under the new structure a new division has been created: Wine Region Marketing & Markets AT-DE, and this will be headed up by Christian Zechmeister, who will look the after the “origins-oriented marketing of the winegrowing regions” including the key markets of Austria and Germany.

Yorke, who is from the UK, said: “Moving forward, we will emphasise an ever-closer interaction with the winegrowing regions, the winegrowers and the proprietors. I am extremely happy that Christian will be able to utilise his particular strengths to great advantage in this area.

“Christian brings with him thirteen years of experience as managing director of Wein Burgenland. So he knows the needs of the winegrowing regions inside and out, while in addition being ideally connected within the political workings of the Austrian wine industry.”

Separately, the strengths of existing divisions are being reinforced and maximised, and as such Michael Zimmerman will head up the International Markets division, and Sabine Bauer-Wolf remains at the head of the existing division of Communications.

Yorke said: “It is our objective to recognise and exploit further potential for export, adding to the development of value and enhancing the profile of Austrian wine.