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A discussion with Mark Turnbull of Foley Wines on why we need to be brand builders in New Zealand to drive value and what motivates foreign investors.

Jordan Small
Executive Director

Today I’m including a discussion with Mark Turnbull – Chief Executive Officer and Director of Foley Wines.

Foley Wines wholly owns a collection of iconic wineries and brands: Martinborough Vineyard, Te Kairanga and the Lighthouse Gin brand in Martinborough; Grove Mill and Vavasour in Marlborough; and, Mt Difficulty in Central Otago. It is NZX listed with US investor and businessman – Bill Foley – its major shareholder. Bill is a major investor in the US wine industry and his company Foley Family Inc. is a Top 20 wine company in the US, owning 17 wineries with over 150 dedicated sales personnel in the US.

Mark’s career started as an accountant with Ernst and Young, then for the next 16 years he was Managing Partner of the brand consultancy Designworks. Mark was Chairman of the New Zealand Wine Fund when it was acquired by Foley Family Wines in 2009. In 2011, Mark had a sabbatical year and attended London Business School where he completed a Masters of Science in Leadership and Strategy with Distinction.
The discussion provides really interesting insight into how and why we need to be brand builders in New Zealand, the importance of storytelling and creating brand experiences – both in the vineyard and virtually – for consumers to connect, continuing to drive the shift from bulk to being a premium producer.

We talk about foreign investment and what motivates investors like Bill Foley and others – and its not just about profit. Its often about creating something special and a strong feeling of connection to New Zealand. Finally, we look to the future and what that might look like and how consumers will be more driven to seek out brand stories, to understand the inputs, values and overall sustainability of the products that they consume.

Host biography:
Jordan Small:
[email protected]

Guest biography:
Mark Turnbull:

For comments and feedback:
Email: [email protected]

Credits – opening and closing music:
Happy Boy Theme Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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