The trade organisation for the UK wine industry has said current CEO Simon Thorpe MW will leave his position at the end of May.

WineGB said this morning that Thorpe, who joined the organisation in 2020, will “return to his roots” as an importer and distributor. Thorpe is to join importer Thomas Hunt as managing director in June.

Thorpe said: “I am lucky enough to have been the CEO of WineGB through such an exciting and dynamic time in UK wine and am confident I leave a team and organisation that can deliver on our three-pillar strategy of industry leadership, growth, and member support.”

According to Thorpe, WineGB now represents around 80% of the 4000+ hectares of UK vineyards and producers.

“It is a truly exciting time for viticulture and wine making in this country, the future is bright and I will be cheering its progress from the sidelines,” added Thorpe.

Sam Linter, WineGB chair, went on to thank Thorpe for his contribution. She highlighted several ongoing initiatives, including the revision of the PDO/PGI, the sustainability scheme, industry events, and increasing diversity.

“Whilst it is disappointing to see him go, the organisation is extremely excited about the future of the UK wine industry and look forward to appointing a new CEO to help deliver its ongoing vision,” added Linter.