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Craggy Range's Rod Easthope joins Naked Wines

Published:  24 February, 2012

New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope is leaving Craggy Range to make an exclusive range in a £300k project for Naked Wines.

He will also act as consultant winemaker for other New Zealand producers working with the online retailer.

Naked Wines invests in winemakers in return for preferential prices, which it passes on to its 100,000 'Angel' customers.

Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines chief executive, said: "Rod is an immense talent and we're delighted to be investing in such a big name, which is a step-change for the business and testament to what we've achieved to date.

"With our Angels investing over £2million a month towards future orders, their reputation is spreading and we've got some exciting winemakers knocking on our door."

Easthope, says: "It's been a lifelong dream to be my own boss, and the Naked Wines' model is finally making that dream come true.

"I've had a fantastic seven years at Craggy Range, but I'm really excited to join the Naked team, get started on a new project, and produce an exclusive range of wines under my own name - at scale.

"I know where all the best grapes are hiding, and now I have the backing to put them to best use and share them with the UK public."

Easthope will take over in May, but will continue to act as a consultant winemaker for Craggy Range.

His first two Naked wines are a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Gris from Hawkes Bay, which are expected to reach the UK market in October - Naked Wines Angels can pre-order cases from February 23, with a 50% saving.

Easthope also plans to make Pinot Noir from Marlborough and Central Otago.