A former Innocent saleswoman who rose through the ranks of the smoothie supplier during its rapid expansion has taken on the top sales role at English wine producer Nyetimber.

As head of sales, Joanne Gunn will be looking for outlets for Nyetimber’s award-winning sparkling wine and helping to cement the brand’s luxury credentials in the minds of wine lovers.

“This is not about massive, massive scale,” said Gunn. “The message is how there is no compromise on quality. It’s not about distribution at any cost, we are looking for the right customers who share Nyetimber’s values.”

Following university, Gunn joined Unilever’s graduate training scheme before moving to Innocent, where she worked her way up through the ranks of the smoothie-maker’s sales force to become senior national ­account manager for Sainsbury’s. Before leaving for a brief spell at Danone, Gunn developed Innocent’s strategy for its 250ml one-shot format.

“Nyetimber has managed to hire one of the best salespeople I’ve interviewed in the past two years,” said MBS Group’s Mike Roberts, the headhunter behind Gunn’s ­appointment.

Gunn’s appointment follows a £25m investment at the West Sussex vineyard that has seen production capacity soar from about 50,000 bottles a year to a million. At more than 430 acres, Nyetimber is the UK’s biggest vineyard.