Cellar at Chateau de la Dauphine

Lidl is set to launch its latest campaign to tempt away the middle classes from Waitrose with a new French wine promotion.

Following on from last autumn’s £12m ‘claret offensive’, the value retailer will stock 40 premium wines in its stores across the UK from 3 September.

The range has been sourced from across France’s most famous wine producing regions, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire Valley, with prices starting at £4.99 and climbing up to £16.99 for a bottle of Champagne.

“Last year, when we launched our first big Wine Cellar campaign, the idea was to introduce ourselves as a retailer which could sell great value fine wine,” said Ben Hulme, head of beers, wines and spirits at Lidl. “The aim now, over the coming months and next year, is to establish and consolidate that reputation and become known as a destination shop for our wine offer.”

Wines in the selection include 15,000 bottles of a Fronsac 2011 from Château de la Dauphine for £14.99 and 20,000 bottles from Château Grand Abord at £7.99 – the first time the producer has been stocked in the UK.

Wine sales at Lidl have shown strong double-digit growth since the introduction of the Wine Cellar concept, growing 38% year on year.

“The numbers we’re bringing in this year are greater, “Hulme added. “Last year, we put 48 wines on sale in the French promotion and this year it is 40, but there will be a greater volume in this range. A year ago I might have brought in 10,000 bottles of one wine, this time it is more like 20,000 or 25,000.”

“We’ve given equal weighting to different regions this time [rather than just concentrate mainly on Bordeaux] and included some slightly lesser known wines such as a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

“Whatever places people are currently buying their fine wine from we hope we can tempt them in with both our quality and value.”

The latest Kantar Worldpanel data this week showed Lidl and Aldi continued to take share from the more mainstream grocers in the UK. Lidl increased sales in the 12 weeks ending 21 June by 9.1% and Aldi by 15.4%, pushing their respective market shares up to 3.9% and 5.5%.