FOREST Hill Vineyard chief executive and chief winemaker Larry Cherubino has left the Denmark winery.
Mr Cherubino joined Forest Hill in 2003 after five years with wine industry heavyweight Houghton.
During his time with the Swan Valley winery Mr Cherubino received 13 trophies, 55 gold, 121 silver and 332 bronze medals from wine shows across Australia.
Forest Hill national sales and marketing manager Roly Egerton Warburton says the vineyard’s senior winemaker, Shane McKerrow, will take up the position of chief winemaker.
“Larry left on good terms, he wanted to take a different direction, but he’s a good mate of mine and although he won’t have any professional involvement with Forest Hill, we’ll keep in touch,” he says.
Mr Cherubino says he has a couple of things happening at the moment, including work in South Africa, Victoria, and southern Italy. And he has bought a property in WA.
“I have bought a property here, but if I was to do something it would be on a small scale; I won’t actually be doing any consulting here in WA though,” he says.
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Aquila Estate has closed its domestic operations in favour of a shift in focus toward the export market.
The Swan Valley winery, which is owned by Federal member for Moore Dr Mal Washer and his family, has made some significant changes to suit the shift in direction.
Aquila Estate winemaker Andrew Spencer-Wright recently left the winery and has since taken up a post at Driftwood near Yallingup.
Aquila managing director Elaine Darby says some changes to the staffing reflect the aim to build on the winery’s export portfolio.
“Sadly we’ve closed all our domestic avenues, and that means our WA reps and cellar door staff have now left us,” Ms Darby says.
“Basically we’re streamlining the business to focus on export; we’re currently in the US and Canada and soon Japan.
“We’ll have the wine produced by a contract maker now that Andrew’s left, but as yet we’re not sure who will do that for us. It will be someone local though.”
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The Evans and Tate Wine Group has appointed former Coles Myer executive Craig Watkins to the board following the resignation of Graham Cranswick-Smith.
Mr Watkins spent 36 years with Coles Myer Ltd, including18 years as the managing director of Liquorland.