Face to face

Simon Beck: New sales and marketing director at New Zealand producer Winegrowers of Ara. He joins from Matua Valley Wines .
27 August, 2008
Page 14 
What has been your greatest achievement?

Getting my wife Tish to marry me and bringing up three sons. Also, successfully re launching the kiwi fruit "World's Finest" brand in Japan in the dark days - for NZ kiwi fruit - of 1989.

Have you ever had a life-changing experience?

Yes, being diagnosed while training in a World Rowing Masters crew with a major heart valve failure that needed immediate open chest surgery. Being faced with mortality made me realise how important people and relationships are. Thankfully, I've recovered fully.

What concerns you most about the drinks industry?

The perennial problem of severe price promotion activity, encouraging consumers to purchase almost solely on price rather than taste preferences, occasion plans or with a view to broadening their drinking experiences. Also the continued demonis ation of alcohol by politicians worldwide as the cause of most social ills, when education and changing cultural attitudes are the better long-term approaches.

What will be your priority at Winegrowers of Ara?

To establish the Ara brand globally as a pre-eminent wine brand from Marlborough, with a unique philosophy on winemaking and viticulture.

What's your view of the NZWG's new campaign?

Pure Discovery is a well structured and thought out campaign that builds on the other generic campaigns that come from NZ, ie tourism, All Blacks and Air New Zealand.

What's the future for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?

Adding some nuances and points of difference to the classic fresh zing, maybe through a bit more complexity and texture to make it accessible to an even wider range of food styles.

What's the potential of NZ Pinot Noir?

Very promising as consumers worldwide seem to want the bright but luscious flavours we're starting to produce.

What's your favourite drink?

Our Resolute Pinot Noir 2005.

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