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US Wine Industry Sales Training Organisation Opens in New Zealand

Posted on November 05, 2015

The WISE (Wine Industry Sales Education) Academy is a Napa organisation that specialises in wine industry direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales training.

The academy will be launched in New Zealand on 25 November in the Central Otago wine region with an inaugural 3 day Cellar Door Professional course, followed by a DTC Metric Intensive course the following week, both in Cromwell.

WISE is led and chaired by Lesley Berglund, the preeminent DTC expert in the US wine industry. She grew up in Napa, developed and sold the Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/the Winetasting Network, is a director on a number of wine industry boards, and has a Harvard MBA.

The New Zealand organisation is a joint venture with Bruce McGechan, a Central Otago businessman with a wine and tourism industry background.

Berglund will be in New Zealand to launch the academy and be the instructor for the first two WISE courses above. From next year McGechan will instruct and run the New Zealand organisation with courses regularly being offered in Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay as well Central Otago wine regions.

Berglund co-founded the company in 2008 to address a core challenge in the wine industry: an urgent need for more, well educated, direct marketing proficient staff, managers and leaders in all aspects related to consumer direct sales programmes (i.e. cellar door, customer service, events, wine club, online, etc.).

A similar situation is seen in New Zealand with McGechan saying, ”a WISE trained Californian cellar door makes many times the revenue of its New Zealand equivalent.” He goes on to say, “this difference is due to the sales skills, and resulting sales confidence, taught at WISE Academy courses which leads to higher bottle, and wine club, conversion rates and average order value.”

For more information about the WISE Academy NZ see:

For more information about Lesley Berglund and the WISE Academy in the US see:


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