Wines of Great Britain has announced the appointment of Nicola Bates as its new CEO, following the departure of former CEO Simon Thorpe MW earlier this year.

Bates will join the trade body from the Portman Group, where she held the role of director of strategy and external affairs. She will assume her new position at WineGB on October 30, making her the first female CEO at the trade organisation. 

Throughout her career, Bates has worked alongside the government to develop labelling regulations, support consumer research on low/no alcohol alternatives and devise a strategy to see the industry through the pandemic. 

Bates said she is “overjoyed to be a part of the next phase of growth for English and Welsh wines”. 

She continued: “The sector will likely soon face the challenges that come with such success, and this is where WineGB steps in with its significant role to shape the workforce, the customer experience, and the reputation.”

Sam Linter, chair of WineGB who will be working alongside Bates, said: “I look forward to seeing Nicola deliver our strategic pillars of leadership, member services, growth and sustainability, and wish her every success in her new role.”