Yair Shapira is the new CEO of the Golan Heights Winery. He will replace Anat Levi in September 2017. He is not from the wine trade, but from the coffee business. He previously worked for Café Landwer.
He will be the fifth CEO of the Golan Heights Winery. Founded in 1983, it has been the pioneering winery of Israel. Three previous CEO’s, Shimshon Welner 1983-1988, Segev Yerovam 1988-1998 and Shalom Blayer 1998-2008, were also new to the wine trade, but they each learnt the business quickly and contributed enormously to the success of the Golan Heights Winery and the wine revolution in Israeli wine. Each became legendary figures in the folklore of Israeli wine.
On the other hand, outgoing CEO, Anat Levy (previously Anat Rushansky), was not new to the business, having previously been marketing manager of the Golan Heights Winery and manager of Yarden Inc in the USA. The success of Levy’s predecessors is proof that people new to the wine trade can be open minded, learn quickly and make lasting contributions.
The new situation means that the three largest wineries in Israel will have reasonably new CEO’s. Erez Paz of Carmel and Gilles Assouline of Barkan were also recruited from outside the wine trade, although Assouline did work previously for the Tempo Beverage Company, the parent company of Barkan. The last CEO of a large winery to come from coffee did not stay long in the job or make a lasting impression. Daliya Mandelman came from Strauss Cafe to Carmel Winery as CEO, but she lasted at the winery for less than a year and a half.
Wines-Israel wishes Yair Shapira every success in his new job.