Bonnievale Wines has concluded a turn-key agreement with respected wine industry specialist Carina Gous, who has taken up an advisory role as the company gears up for an exciting new phase of growth.
Until recently Gous was the global brand director for Distell’s portfolio of premium wine and spirits brands. She previously held the position of Business Director: Wine Segment at Distell and played an instrumental role in growing and improving the company’s wine business at a global level. At the end of 2017 she also took over from financial entrepreneur Michael Jordaan as non-executive chairperson at influential export promotions organisation Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Her relationship with Bonnievale Wines will be in the capacity of strategic marketing and sales advisor, where she will work closely with founding CEO, John Barnardt.
“We are very excited to have Carina on board,” says Bonnievale Wines board chairman Anton Smuts. “Thanks to her dynamic leadership and wealth of experience at all levels of the industry, locally and internationally, she has shown herself to be an important asset to our industry. Her alliance with Bonnievale Wines comes at a most opportune time as the company prepares its move to the next level.”
According to John Barnardt, Gous’s input is already bearing fruit. “We have been implementing several new changes that will have a significant impact on our presence in the market and Carina’s contribution has been invaluable,” he says.
Having grown up on a farm in the Keisie Valley near Montagu, Gous has a special connection to the broader region that is home to iconic wine brands and some 100 producers that comprise Bonnievale Wines. “The company has a long and excellent history of co-operation and collaboration,” she says. “In addition to being a formidable business with access to a vast diversity of cultivars and terroirs, Bonnievale Wines has a unique location in the magnificent Breede River Valley and is tied to a long and fascinating history. They have all the building blocks to bring an authentic, distinctive high quality brand to the market and build equity for the long term. There is a tremendously positive energy at Bonnievale and I look forward to contributing to its further successes.”
Her decision for closer involvement with the Bonnievale Wines team also stems from her view of South Africa’s industry in general.
“Premiumisation is essential to the fundamental change we require for sustainability, but it needs to happen at every level. Bonnievale Wines is a well-managed company with a large network of producers that can deliver the wine quality required at different levels. We have a network of wine buyers in the local and international markets; and, we know where the wine goes and how it is used. Here is an opportunity to build a good, long-term trademark with a solid supply base and strong financial support. I believe that is what we need to unlock value for existing wineries and dramatically change the profitability of the broader industry.”
Although its history goes back over half a century, Bonnievale Wines celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. It was formally established on 1 November 2006, created through the three-way merger of the Bonnievale, Merwespont and Nordale co-operative wineries in a milestone regarded as among the first of its kind for South African agriculture.
Its association with Carina Gous represents another step in the company’s pioneering evolution. A chemist by training, Gous holds an MSc and an MBA. –Press release