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Published:  23 July, 2008

Graham Hines is leaving Wines from Spain after 21 years of pushing the Spanish generic message.

Due to continued ill health, Hines said that it is in the best interests of both Wines from Spain and myself that I now step aside to clear the path for work to continue'. Hines took up the position of director of the Sherry Institute in 1984, following a number of years' experience in the UK trade, including stints with Matthew Clark, Lay & Wheeler and Gonzalez Byass. He took on the role of director of Wines from Spain in 1995.

His services to Spanish wine were recognised by the Spanish government in 1994, when he was awarded the Commander of the Order of Civil Merit - roughly equivalent to the British CBE.

Maria Jos Sevilla, currently director of Food from Spain, will take over his role alongside her current one. Sevilla has a strong background in Spanish food and wine, being the first member of the ICEX office to gain her WSET diploma, back in 1990. She has also been the coordinator of the wine and food divisions since 1992. Christopher Payne of Moreno Wine, the current chairman of the WSA Spanish Wines Committee, commented: Graham has been the steadfast pillar around which the generic efforts for Spanish wines have turned. Always open to new ideas and debate, he has been a strong diplomat within the trade and always managed to bring those with differing views together under a common cause. His passion and belief in Spanish wine has always shone through and inspired others, including myself.'

By Jack Hibberd