Key Players

John Geber – Proprietor

jon_geberDuring a morning bike ride in 1998 John Geber saw it for the first time. He bought it the very next day. “It” was Château Tanunda in Australia’s Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s oldest wineries and, today, one of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed brands. South African-born Geber had been a marketing maven for R. J. Reynolds, with stints spent in Switzerland, the U.S. and Germany, before relocating to Australia. Happy in Australia, he transferred to Stimorol/Tetley Australia, for whom he marketed chewing gum, coffee and tea. Faced with a dismal 2% market share for Tetley’s tea bags, Geber created the “Tetley All-Rounder” tea bag. An instant hit with Aussie tea drinkers, it boosted Tetley’s market share to 30% and was voted “Best Consumer Product of the Year.” By 1991, Geber was eager to go out on his own, founding the Australian Food & Beverage Group. In 1993, Geber made his first acquisition, purchasing the Cowra Estate in New South Wales, home to the oldest Chardonnay plantings in Australia (1972). The success of this investment allowed him to purchase and invest in the restoration of Château Tanunda. And from here the brands were born.

Michelle Geber – Principal

michelleFor two years (2009 – 2011) Michelle Geber worked within Banfi Vintners, as the US Brand Ambassador hence playing an integral part in launching the brands in the US. In this highvisibility role, Michelle was a true extension of Banfi’s sales force, presenting to and meeting with distributors and key accounts, telling the story of Château Tanunda and building up the Barossa. Returning to Australia in early 2012 she continues to play a central role in the brand’s expansion and strategic direction in her current position as Export Manager.

Stuart Bourne – Winemaker

stuartWith a long history associated with wine and vines and a family who are grape growers in the renowned Watervale sub-region of the Clare Valley – Stuart Bourne recently took up the post of Chief Winemaker at Château Tanunda. Gaining experience at several major wineries in Western Australia, Clare Valley, and Victoria, Bourne was drawn back to his South Australian roots and the Barossa Valley 10 years ago when he became the winemaker at Barossa Valley Estate. In explaining his return to the region Stuart explains “It has some of the oldest vines on the planet and no phylloxera,” Bourne notes, “but it’s not just about the soil, it’s about the 150 years of planting, the history of the area, and the culture.” Bourne’s mastery of Barossa style was recognized by Wine Spectator for one of the “Top 25 Benchmark Wines from Australia,” and most recently, he oversaw the final blend of Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2008, which was the highest-rated Australian wine at #33 on Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of 2011.”

Laura Moran – Brand Ambassador/Associate Brand Manager

lauraLaura came to the USA in December 2011 to take up the Brand Ambassador position previously held by Michelle Geber. Prior to this, Laura had been working for Château Tanunda for two years. Her first position in National Sales and Marketing had her managing Australian sales before progressing to Assistant Export Manager for the USA and China in early 2011. Laura is currently employed by Banfi and travels the USA interacting with trade, key accounts, distributors and consumers to educate and tell the story of the brand and the Barossa as a region.

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