Wine importer Bottle Green is launching a branded German Riesling into the UK off-trade with the aim of capturing consumers at the £6 price level.

Starling Castle Riesling, produced by Peter Mertes and priced at £6.99, looks set to compete with the New World-branded Rieslings from New Zealand and Australia.

Nicky Forrest, MD of Wines of Germany UK, said: "We are finding that the growth in New World Rieslings is having a positive effect on German wines, particularly among younger wine drinkers."

The wine, produced from the Mosel region in Germany, has had successful sales in New York after its launch there last year, according to Bottle Green.

The importer said the packaging for the brand incorporates a back label visible from the front of the bottle through frosted glass. "The price point and packaging together should attract attention for this brand," said a spokesman.

He noted that Bottle Green was responsible for bringing the French Connection brand to the UK when the French wine category began its decline and the brand has since been a success through the off-trade. "We think there is a small reappraisal of German wines occurring now and people are looking for iconic brands."

The German wine category has lost value in the UK off-trade against the strength of New World wine producers, declining by 7% last year to £177m [ACNielsen, 52 w/e December 24, 2005]. However, sales of wine above £6 per bottle are on the increase, growing 89% each year, and sales of Riesling wines are growing at 19%, according to ACNielsen [Total Impulse w/e February 25, 2006].