Australian Vintage to build on its branded wine offer in UK

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Australian Vintage is teaming up with MasterChef’s John Torode as it looks to strengthen its position in the UK branded wine market, both through its core McGuigan portfolio and new product launches.


Torode is to work with Australian Vintage’s chief executive Neil McGuigan on a collection of 50 recipes, which can be downloaded using QR codes on the back labels of any McGuigan wine. A dedicated website will then offer recipe ideas based on the wine the QR code has come from and their dietary preferences.


Julian Dyer, Australian Vintage’s head of UK and Ireland, told Harpers that thanks to the quality of UK bottling, it is now able to bottle its iconic McGuigan Black Label brand in the UK for the first time. It is also launching McGuigan Black Label Reserve to the independent sector.


“McGuigan Black Label is the heart and soul of the company so it is crucial for us that it is being bottled in the UK,” he stressed.


Black Label, he said, is vital in helping to push the premium Australian brand category up to and potentially beyond £9.99.


Dyer told Harpers: “This gives us an opportunity to stretch the phenomenal success we have had with the McGuigan brand and encourage more people to trade up.”


He added: “You have to look to trade people up by £1 or £1.50 at a time. If you think you can get them to spend £3 to £4 more then you are kidding.”


Australian Vintage is also looking to use its strong position in the UK to increasingly grow more business across Europe. Its close ties with UK bottlers, for example, means it can offer bulk shipping savings to distributors across Europe. “We treat bottling in the UK as an extension of our own winery,” said Dyer.


But, equally, it remains “absolutely committed” to the UK, its number-one export market. Dyer said it was also vital it developed products for consumers who sill want to buy wine below £5.


These developments include:


  • Continued roll-out of its £3.49, 5.5% abv Vinni sparkling Moscato-based brand into supermarkets and convenience with new Blush and Black variants
  • A new range of 5.5% abv wines featuring a white, red and rosé under its new low-alcohol umbrella brand name Summer Light, first introduced, alongside Summer Time, in Australia
  • Bubblique, a sparkling flavoured wine proposition at 8.5% abv and “well below £10”.


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