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Tuesday 30 January 2024

Farewell to one of the most famous business names in the Australian wine industry

Negociants International is one of the highest-profile and respected wine distributors in the business.

But say goodbye to the name.

Sixth-generation family-owned winemaker and global fine wine merchant Hill-Smith Family Estates announced today that its international distribution business, Negociants International, will retire its business name and operate as Hill-Smith Family Estates from February 1.

Established in 1985, Negociants International built a network of fine wine distributors across more than 50 major and emerging markets, representing family winemakers from Australia and New Zealand including HSFE brands Yalumba, Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Jansz Tasmania, and Nautilus Estate, as well as family winemakers Rockford, Henschke, Chris Ringland, Murdoch Hill, Gentle Folk, Ochota Barrels and New Zealand's Kumeu River.

Fifth-generation company head Robert Hill-Smith (above) says the transition from the Negociants International brand to Hill-Smith Family Estates is "part of a natural alignment of assets across international marketing and sales".

“The wine world is a very different place today than when we established Negociants International in 1985, both in the way sales channels are structured and how we bring wines to market,” Hill-Smith says.

“With that evolution, we must adapt, and this strategic change is an opportunity to better support the sales channels and the family-owned wine brands we represent by expanding our marketing and sales capabilities.”

Hill-Smith says the change better positions the business to achieve its future growth ambitions.

“As a family, we have been fortunate to see the resilience of the wine industry over our 175 years of existence, but this does not happen without terrific people who are committed to delivering not just survival but success and being willing to stay the course through thick and thin.

“As a business, we remain firmly committed to investing in our people, our brands, and the valued relationships we have built over many years with our distribution partners.

“We are a six-generation wine family, enthused for crafting and sharing great wine with the world for generations to come.”

Executive director of marketing and sales Jack Glover will lead the new Hill-Smith Family Estates global marketing and sales team and continue working with its established distribution network across all international markets, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Asia Pacific.

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