A new wine guy to bring Angels the best independent Aussie & Kiwi wines around

Published by Alison Hardy - 23rd Jul 2021

Johan Axlund grew up in the fields and forests of Sweden.

“I think for my career, I should have had a French name. It sounds more credible!” he laughs. But that’s not necessary — your new Head of Wine’s taste buds have more than 20 years experience in the independent wine and liquor industry in Australia. 

Even before that, some of his earliest memories are of being dragged around the vineyards of Europe every summer by his wine buff dad. So you could say a career in wine was on the cards.

It kicked off back in 1998, while he was working at the famous Rockpool dining group in Sydney. Well and truly bitten by the wine bug by then, Johan went on to sip, select and secure wines for leading Aussie wine companies, most of them private or family businesses (you won’t find a supermarket bottle shop on his resume!).  

He’s also not shy of getting his hands dirty developing delicious new products, first for small wineries and then for his own cider business. 

Johan and his wine dog, Louie

Now his silky skills are all yours…

Johan’s wealth of experience means you can expect to see more sensational wines, bursting with personality, from more Aussie and Kiwi regions (maybe even some special guests — who knows…?). 

Not to mention his mission to discover and bring you new and thrilling independent winemakers. 

“I want to make sure Angels have a great experience with Naked and find plenty of wines to love,” he says.

He’ll keep raising the bar for the Naked wines you know and love, and will go all out to uncover surprising and delightful new ones for you. His eyes twinkled as he hinted at ‘tiny batches of incredible premium drops’ being on his action-packed agenda. All delivering that signature Naked quality and value you won’t find anywhere else.

“I get more excited finding a $15 bottle of wine that tastes like it costs $35, than finding a great $35 bottle of wine!” he smiles.

And he can’t wait to get out on the road to spend time with Naked winemakers and uncover new wine wizards.

“Hanging out with winemakers in their vineyards and wineries is one of the most important parts of my job, and the bit I’ve missed the most since Covid arrived in Australia,” he tells us.

“It’s often when I’m tasting the latest vintage with them, right out of the barrel, that the real magic happens. Their passion, soul and sense of place shines through in their stories and I discover the liquid gold they’re creating in their sheds.”

Fingers crossed, it won’t be long until Johan can venture out again on the hunt for Angel-quality wine.

And he’d love to know where you’d like him to go.

Leave him your suggestions here.

He’s already got some brilliant ideas where he might find the next taste sensations. 

“I can’t promise to get round every suggestion, but the ones that rise to the top of Angels’ wish lists will be at the top of mine. Or I should say, ours…!”

And if you want to say hi to Johan, follow him on his wall or drop him a note. His own Naked journey has only just begun.