Australia’s e-commerce and technology business WithWine, has recently announced that former wine auctioneer and retail executive Andrew Caillard MW has joined the leadership team as Associate Director.
CEO and founder of WithWine, Richard Owens, said, “Andrew Caillard has been influential in shaping Australia’s fine wine agenda over the last forty years. His broad experience and advice will be hugely invaluable for our direct-to-consumer model. It is wonderful that we can tap into his extensive knowledge and experience.”
WithWine was established by former Macquarie Banker and Apple executive Richard Owens in 2012. After building a virtual cellar door platform, he recognized that wineries needed efficient, reliable, and cost-effective direct-to consumer marketing and sales technology to remain competitive in the fast-changing Australian and international drinks market. WithWine is now powering over 90 wineries across Australia and New Zealand with designs to expand in the coming months.
The pandemic has changed wine industry forever, and Australian wineries and companies were hit particularly hard. China’s punitive tariffs, COVID-19, border closures, and lockdowns have rapidly altered wine business activity. Regardless of size, wineries need to adapt to these new conditions and opportunities to protect and develop their brands.
“Direct to consumer” or DTC is the most profitable and powerful channel of distribution for wineries. The WithWine platform promotes premiumization, long-term customer relationships, sales optimization, and faster seamless cash flow. It also offers the added benefits of being cost-effective, easy-to-use, completely mobile, and integrated across all existing inventory and sales systems.
On his new role, Andrew Caillard said, “The history of Australian wine is punctuated by market shocks and the reliance on a few gatekeepers. WithWine is an exceptional business model because it empowers wine producers to control their future. I have joined the WithWine team because it has a great culture, a sense of purpose and believes in the cause of Australian Wine. Those are ingredients for an exciting journey!”
WithWine’s General Manager Ben Copeman-Hill added, “Our DTC platform has been built by wine people for wine people. Our mission is all about getting customers to buy directly from wineries and making that experience memorable. Over the last year, we have assembled a great team to drive the DTC business forward. As associate director Andrew Caillard MW will work as an advisor and assist us in reaching our goals.”
Caillard is one of the foremost Australian wine experts. He worked for Pinnacle Drinks, Australia’s leading wine auction house Langton’s, authored many books and chaired various wine competitions.
He also produced an award-winning documentary Red Obsession, charting China’s affinity with Bordeaux reds. Most recently, he is working on another documentary called Blind Ambition, about four Zimbabwe Sommeliers in their quest to compete in the World Blind Wine Tasting Championship in Burgundy.