Meet The Team
Mr. Dean Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
Originally an architect, Dean established Wine Ark in 2000 a climate-controlled storage business managing over $200m of wine around the country.
In 2003 he launched Wine Exchange an online wine trading platform and TheCellar Club an ultra premium wine club, which were acquired by Cellarmasters in 2009.
In 2010 he founded Cracka Wines a direct-to-consumer marketplace that became one of Australia’s top 50 online retailers. Catering for niche market segments, he also launched Winegrowers Direct and My Wine Guy, before merging those businesses with The Wine Society to form The Wine Collective.
Not one to sit on his laurels, he’s now running Wine Depot, a B2B wine trading & logistics platform acquired by DW8 in April 2019.
Named in 50 Stars of Wine and Top 50 People in Ecommerce, he’s highly regarded within the wine and online retail communities. His ventures have all been disruptive with a strong technology focus, putting him in an ideal position to lead DW8.
Mr. Davide Defendi
Chief Technology Officer
Davide is a leader and entrepreneur, experienced in advancing companies from inception through to sale, across several industries.
Originally a certified software engineer it wasn’t long before Davide was looking to disrupt traditional business through innovative technology. From a start-up perspective Davide has been involved with/founded two digital agencies, a technology recycling & service business, an instant messaging business similar to WhatsApp with user growth of more than 15 million users and an IOT based enterprise.
He’s sold technology to and served on the board of both public ASX listed and private companies. He has a proven ability to manage all aspects of business; including negotiating multi-million dollar customer contracts; leading dynamic, multi-functional teams and organisations; and executing innovative strategies to create and deliver value.
Richard van Ruth
Business Development Manager
Like many, Richard’s wine career began Adelaide’s Edinburgh Cellars in the late 1990s. Inspired by the luminaries of the day who frequented The Ed, Richard threw himself into the industry with sales roles at Mildara Blass, David Ridge Wines and Petaluma before heading to the UK where he spent several years with renowned importer Liberty Wine. Upon returning to Australia, Richard worked with DiGiorgio Family Wines in Coonawarra before settling into a long tenure as General Manager at Primo Estate in McLaren Vale. Richard founded ootra in 2017 with a vision to create a more sustainable model of trade for the wine industry.
Richard is a passionate advocate for the Australian wine sector and has served on the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Board and South Australian Wine Industry Executive Committee.
Inventory and Operations Manager
With more than 10 years’ experience across operations, account management, buying, customer service and supply chain management within wine and FMCG industries – Anna is a great addition to the WINEDEPOT team.
Originally from New Zealand, Anna cut her teeth in the industry working for Laithwaite’s, an internationally renowned wine merchant as they launched a multi-branded consumer wine club in Australia.
After spending 3 years in Operations Coordination in their Australian start-up, the company relocated Anna to their head office in the UK to lead the development and release of an innovative cloud-based sales and service platform. This role included overseeing the deployment of the application across the companies divisions in Australia, Hong Kong and the USA.
She then spent 3 years in supply chain management working for Adhesif Labels before joining the team at Graysonline, one of Australia’s largest online wine businesses. As one of their Buyers, her role included managing key supplier accounts such as Moet-Hennessy, Pernod Ricard, McWilliams, Treasury Wines, Accolade and De Bortoli to name a few.
Recognising her skills and experience, she was soon promoted to the position of Sales Operations & Third-party Logistics Manager where she oversaw the procurement, picking, packing and delivery of literally millions of bottles per year.
Passionate about wine and innovation for the industry, Anna has a track record of optimising and solving complex operational and business functions through the use of technology. She is a creative out of the box thinker who is no stranger to both start-ups and ASX listed corporations. Her process focused, results driven and 100% human approach make her a valuable addition to the team as our Inventory and Operations Manager.