Introducing our award winning team.

Behind Sileni is a family culture launched in 1997 by medical entrepreneur Graeme Avery and his winemaker friend Grant Edmonds. Supported by a handpicked team, they have dedicated themselves to building a wine brand that has its heart in the right place.

Graeme Avery

President

Graeme Avery

President

Sir Graeme Avery has over 50 years of international business experience, he is responsible for business strategic planning and export market development. As a result of his experience, drive and determination Sileni wines are now exported to more than 80 different markets around the world.

In addition to his extensive business commitments, Sir Graeme has a broad range of community interests.  He founded Hawke’s Bay Wine Tourism and Hawke’s Bay Food Group and is credited with leading the establishment of the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. He has been involved in a variety of food and tourism industry governance roles, helping to make a difference in the way New Zealand’s food and wine tourism regions are marketed internationally. Sir Graeme has a passion for supporting high performance sport, with over 45 years’ involvement in athletics, he led the fundraising for the $70 million AUT Millennium Institute of Sport & Health - a world class centre of sports excellence in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2007, Sir Graeme was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen and made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to business and sport, and in 2014 with a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM), for services to business and sport.  He is has also been inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame for his contribution to business, food & wine and sport.

Nigel Avery

CEO

Nigel Avery

CEO

Nigel has been involved in the family business in various capacities since its inception in 1997, but joined full time in 2008 as General Manager of New Zealand and Asia. Responsible for significant growth in these regions, Nigel transferred to the USA in 2013 to run operations there. He returned to New Zealand in 2016 to take over management of daily operations from Sir Graeme.

A trained accountant, Nigel has also had a colourful sporting career. He has represented New Zealand in track and field, bobsleigh and weightlifting, competing as part of the Olympic weightlifting team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and winning two Gold and a Silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. 

 

Simon Avery

GENERAL MANAGER NORTH ASIA AND PACIFIC

Simon Avery

GENERAL MANAGER NORTH ASIA AND PACIFIC

Simon has been involved in the family business since 2011 as a part-time domestic sales executive, before taking on a full time role managing the diverse north Asia and Pacific markets in 2014.

Prior to joining the family business, Simon was involved in the surf industry for 30 years as a surfboard manufacturer, retailer and surf coach. He  also represented New Zealand as a professional surfer for more than 15 years. 

Graeme Avery

President

Sir Graeme Avery has over 50 years of international business experience, he is responsible for business strategic planning and export market development. As a result of his experience, drive and determination Sileni wines are now exported to more than 80 different markets around the world.

In addition to his extensive business commitments, Sir Graeme has a broad range of community interests.  He founded Hawke’s Bay Wine Tourism and Hawke’s Bay Food Group and is credited with leading the establishment of the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. He has been involved in a variety of food and tourism industry governance roles, helping to make a difference in the way New Zealand’s food and wine tourism regions are marketed internationally. Sir Graeme has a passion for supporting high performance sport, with over 45 years’ involvement in athletics, he led the fundraising for the $70 million AUT Millennium Institute of Sport & Health - a world class centre of sports excellence in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2007, Sir Graeme was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen and made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to business and sport, and in 2014 with a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM), for services to business and sport.  He is has also been inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame for his contribution to business, food & wine and sport.

Nigel Avery

CEO

Nigel has been involved in the family business in various capacities since its inception in 1997, but joined full time in 2008 as General Manager of New Zealand and Asia. Responsible for significant growth in these regions, Nigel transferred to the USA in 2013 to run operations there. He returned to New Zealand in 2016 to take over management of daily operations from Sir Graeme.

A trained accountant, Nigel has also had a colourful sporting career. He has represented New Zealand in track and field, bobsleigh and weightlifting, competing as part of the Olympic weightlifting team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and winning two Gold and a Silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. 

 

Simon Avery

GENERAL MANAGER NORTH ASIA AND PACIFIC

Simon has been involved in the family business since 2011 as a part-time domestic sales executive, before taking on a full time role managing the diverse north Asia and Pacific markets in 2014.

Prior to joining the family business, Simon was involved in the surf industry for 30 years as a surfboard manufacturer, retailer and surf coach. He  also represented New Zealand as a professional surfer for more than 15 years. 

Cairn Coghill

Senior Winemaker

Cairn Coghill

Senior Winemaker

Cairn first fell in love with wine during a university field trip to Hawke’s Bay, retraining in winemaking he began his career in Hawke’s Bay. Working for a range of Kiwi winemakers, including Church Road, Vidal Estate and Villa Maria. He has completed vintages in Oregon, learning the art of Pinot Noir, and multiple vintages in Bordeaux. Cairn began as red winemaker at Sileni in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Biological Process) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Oneonology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. 

Nigel Davies

Winemaker

Nigel Davies

Winemaker

Nigel has worked in the wine industry since 1988, beginning as a laboratory manager, before moving through the ranks to winemaking. He has worked in France (Burgundy, Alsace, Monbazillac), Hungary (Balaton) and Chile (Panquehue). Nigel first joined Sileni as a winemaker in 1998, when the winery was being built and enjoyed nine years as an integral part of the Sileni team. In 2007 he moved to Slovakia to manage a state of the art winery, before returning home in 2011 and back to Sileni, as white winemaker. He has a Master of Science, majoring in Chemistry, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Winemaking from the University of South Australia (Roseworthy).

Cairn Coghill

Senior Winemaker

Cairn first fell in love with wine during a university field trip to Hawke’s Bay, retraining in winemaking he began his career in Hawke’s Bay. Working for a range of Kiwi winemakers, including Church Road, Vidal Estate and Villa Maria. He has completed vintages in Oregon, learning the art of Pinot Noir, and multiple vintages in Bordeaux. Cairn began as red winemaker at Sileni in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Biological Process) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Oneonology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. 

Nigel Davies

Winemaker

Nigel has worked in the wine industry since 1988, beginning as a laboratory manager, before moving through the ranks to winemaking. He has worked in France (Burgundy, Alsace, Monbazillac), Hungary (Balaton) and Chile (Panquehue). Nigel first joined Sileni as a winemaker in 1998, when the winery was being built and enjoyed nine years as an integral part of the Sileni team. In 2007 he moved to Slovakia to manage a state of the art winery, before returning home in 2011 and back to Sileni, as white winemaker. He has a Master of Science, majoring in Chemistry, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Winemaking from the University of South Australia (Roseworthy).

Sileni stands for great food, great wine and great company.

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