Grants wine range to have California focus

Related tags Chardonnay Cabernet sauvignon

Grants of St James's is aiming to give a lift to Californian wines in the UK with the launch of a new portfolio of brands.The range includes the...

Grants of St James's is aiming to give a lift to Californian wines in the UK with the launch of a new portfolio of brands.

The range includes the familiar Stowells and Paul Masson names and adds five more brands as the shipper exploits its links with American parent company Canandaigua.

Californian wine is increasing its volume by 35 per cent year-on-year but it still only claims a three per cent share of the on-trade.

"We believe there is a big opportunity for growth, which is why we are focusing on California," said director of marketing Steve Holt.

"Australian wines are twice as big, but that's because we haven't shouted loud enough about the qualities of Californian wines."

Grants has been working with winemakers over the past year to devise wines specially suited to the British palate as well as selecting some classics from existing ranges.

Key brands for pubs are likely to be Stowells of Chelsea in the new 75cl bottles, Estate Cellars from the famous winery Inglenook and Mystic Cliffs, being launched in July.

Two new entry-point wines are being introduced to the Stowells label - Ruby Cabernet Zinfandel and Chardonnay Colombard. They will benefit from a £9million marketing drive this year behind the pub trade's biggest wine brand.

Estate Cellars is one of the United States' favourite brands and will be available in the UK in five single varietal styles two of which have been tailored to the local taste for fruitier wines.

Mystic Cliffs was launched in the US last year as an "everyday" wine in a cooler, fresher style which Holt believes has the potential to become a flagship for Californian wines.

Moving upmarket, Dunnewood, Estancia and Firestone complete the line-up of labels."There should be something here to cater for all the on-trade's requirements in a Californian wine," said Holt.

Grants of St James's is also hoping that a higher profile for California will help improve the standing of New World wines in pubs, in line with the trend in the off-trade.

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