Gonzalez Byass has announced it is to relaunch its dry fino sherry brand Tio Pepe with a new-look bottle and a marketing campaign aimed at moving the brand closer to the booming wine sector.
A new green tapered bottle has been introduced in an effort to shed sherry's traditional image as a drink consumed at Christmas by vicars and elderly relatives.
Jeremy Rockett, marketing manager at First Drinks Brands, UK distributor for Gonzalez Byass, said: "Sherry has traditionally been seen as a sweet, dark, sticky spirit that never leaves the drinks cabinet.
"We want to emphasise the dryness and subtlety of Tio Pepe and challenge people's perceptions of fino sherry."
In an attempt to associate the brand with the wine market, tasting notes, serving suggestions and a sweetness indicator have been included as part of the new labelling.
"At 15 per cent ABV, fino is barely stronger than most good wines and in blind tests we found that consumers really enjoyed Tio Pepe in much the same way as they may enjoy a very dry white wine," said Rockett.
The words "extra dry" have also been added to help distinguish the brand from sweeter sherries such as Harvey's Bristol Cream and Croft.
To accompany the relaunch of Tio Pepe, Gonzalez Byass has invested £2million in a 2001 publicity campaign including print, poster and washroom advertisements all using the strap-line: "Always look on the dry side of life".
There will also be sampling and serving initiatives in the on-trade during the spring and summer months.
Rockett added: "The on-trade sampling is essential for us as we need to start making people think of sherry as a wine rather than as a spirit."