Austrian wine’s Willi Klinger to retire

07 December, 2018

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has announced that its mercurial managing director, Wili Klinger, will be leaving at the end of next year.

Klinger announced his retirement as head of the AWMB last week at the board’s supervisory board meeting.

The 62-year-old said: “You have to know when the time has come. As the longest-serving head of Austrian Wine Marketing, I am proud of what we have achieved together and I wish to thank all those who work with me on behalf of Austrian wine: my wonderful team, the officials and above all the winegrowers in the great wine country of Austria,” exclaimed Klinger.

Klinger added that he would welcome another challenge, on the international level, after 2019. 

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board was founded in 1986 in the wake of the mid-decade wine scandal, and has been instrumental in the development of the Austrian wine industry.

Klinger, the sixth managing director, has been leading the AWMB since 2007. During his tenure, “Willi” has pursued a consistent strategy for improving quality, which has enabled Austrian wine to achieve an enviable reputation on the international level, booking new record export volumes year after year. 

Chairman of the AWMB’s supervisory board and president of the Austrian Viticultural Association, Johannes Schmuckenschlager thanked Klinger for “his meritorious work in the service of Austrian wine”, with additional thanks for the generous advance notice given to the supervisory board.

He said: “Now we are looking forward to another year of good work together for Austrian wine. We can conduct an unhurried search for a suitable successor over the course of the coming year,” said Schmuckenschlager.

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