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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

The Thresher Group has unveiled the name of its latest cross-country merchant brand' - Radcliffe's Regional Classics. Radcliffe's builds on the success of Origin, but uses the classic regions of Europe (rather than grape variety) as the major selling point. The 26-strong range, which retails between 4.99 and 13.99, will hit the shops in August. It includes famous French appellations such as Chteauneuf-du-Pape, Bordeaux and Alsace, together with wines from Germany, Italy and Spain. According to Thresher's communications manager, Jonathan Butt, Radcliffe's is another voyage of discovery. It's aimed at a different consumer to Origin; slightly older, a bit more knowledgeable about wine, but as with Origin, we provide a quality guarantee and branding to reassure the consumer'. Kevin Styles, sales and marketing director, added: The classic European regions produce some of the best wine in the world, but this has been somewhat overlooked by the consumer in recent years, seduced by the excellent "big brands" emanating from the New World.' Another boost to the Old World came at the Thresher Group's summer tasting, with Spain and southern France gaining listings and Eastern Europe benefiting from the ongoing march of Origin Pinot Grigio. A Romanian Pinot Grigio has been added to the existing Hungarian version in the range (both 4.99), simply to keep up with demand', according to Butt. We're selling about 23,000 bottles of Pinot Grigio a week now,' he said, and it was only launched three weeks ago. We're not buying from Italy, because the price doesn't always match the quality.' Butt also believed that the inclusion of Eastern European wines in the range would benefit the category as a whole. Thresher is also intending to launch a Hungarian-only range called Talaris. He added that buyers are currently finding great value wines in places like Spain and southern France, with Lalaguna Tinto Joven (4.48) singled out for special praise. In some ways the Old World was under-represented in the old range, and we have redressed that,' Butt said.