Graham Norton's favourite Kiwi winemakers open office in Australia
The men behind British talk show host Graham Norton's signature wine have set up shop across the ditch.
Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, founders of Auckland-based Invivo Wines, have opened an international office in Adelaide, Australia and have appointed Mark Boardman as international sales manager.
Lightbourne said it was an exciting step for the company as they continued to grow their business around the world.
"It's just been Rob and I hitting the road, visiting our customers - we needed help, some commercial support."
And Boardman was the man for the job, he said.
"He is going to be hitting the ground running with our expansion plans."
Invivo Wines is well-known for their work with Graham Norton, who recently become a shareholder in the company and even tried his hand at winemaking. Invivo has supplied Graham with Invivo Wine for his guests since 2011.
The company also became the first company in New Zealand to successfully raise $2 million in an equity crowdfunding campaign. A total of 439 now hold shares in the company.
Lightbourne said the funds they raised had helped fuel their international expansion, including increasing production and staff numbers.
"We've got an army for us around New Zealand and around the world and that's enabled us to grow really fast.
"It's been really good. It's allowed up to take that next step and really plan for the future."
Australia was the perfect place for their first overseas office, as it was one of their key focus markets, he said.
However, he saw further opportunities for expansion in the UK and Ireland.
Boardman, who has 20 years experience in the international wine industry, said he was keen to help Invivo expand their brand.
"It's a big step but I'm really excited to get on board and help create great opportunities here in Australia and around the world."
His main focus markets would be Australia, Ireland, the UK and the US, Boardman said. He also hoped to develop markets in Asia.
The Graham Norton "aspect" was very unique and he saw huge demand for it globally, he said.
Invivo Wines was founded by Lightbourne and Cameron in 2008. Since then, the company has grown and was now exporting to more than 17 countries.