Stevens Garnier has been bought by Portugal-based producer Sogrape and has appointed a new managing director.

Sogrape was already an investor in the agency, which handles its wines in the UK.

Sogrape president Salvador Guedes said: “Stevens Garnier and Sogrape have a longstanding and successful partnership in the UK and Sogrape is delighted to make a full acquisition of the company.  

“Stevens Garnier has built a strong reputation for delivering exceptional service to the UK wine trade and lists in its portfolio, as well as Sogrape, some of the best wine producers from around the world. We are committed to investing in the company’s future to the benefit of all the brand owners and customers.”

New managing director Matt Douglas joins the company today (November 1) to take over from founding director Jane Cranston, who will remain with the business as a director.

Douglas is to develop and implement a new strategic plan for Stevens Garnier’s brands in the on and off-trades. He joins the company from Argento Wine Company, where he was operations director, and before that worked for Bibendum.

He said: “Stevens Garnier is about to enjoy a period of strong growth and I am much looking forward to working with the existing team, Sogrape, brand owners and customers, during this challenging and exciting new phase in the company’s development.”

Cranston said: “I am delighted both with the increased investment by Sogrape, with whom we have been working for over 20 years, and with the appointment of Matt to head up the business. His commercial acumen and strong vision for the future is exactly what is needed to ensure that Stevens Garnier retains and grows its reputation as one of the leading suppliers to the UK wine trade.”

Longstanding director Johnny Powell and James Forbes, who is responsible for buying and marketing, will also stay with Stevens Garnier as directors.