European wine producers are taking note of the popularity that brands have gained in the world of wine and see the exhibition as an ideal venue to play the New World at its own game

After the shock of being hit by a New World order in the1990s, European wine producers are making a fight of it by producing innovations in winemaking, marketing and packaging.
Among the new ranges this year will be La Loire de Vinival, displayed on the French Pavilion. Producer Vinival says the range aims to build on the Loire Valley’s reputation as a holiday destination.
Paul Boutinot Agencies will launch a southern French range called Les Six, with wines from Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes du Roussillon and Costières de Nimes. The wines are aimed at a £4.99 price point.
A further new French range is HWCG’s Les Nouveaux Gascons from the Plaimont co-operative in Gascony. Three-litre boxes will also be launched by the company for its Vin de Pays brands.
Premium Languedoc brand La Baume is being relaunched by Les Grands Chais de France in Bordeaux-style bottles with Stelvin closures. The brand was bought from Constellation Brands last autumn.
Michel Lynch, the affordable Bordeaux range from the owner of the prestigious Chateau Lynch-Bages property, are being relaunched by UK agent Mentzendorff. A reserve red and white have been added to the repackaged line-up and will retail at around £7.99.
Also from Mentzendorff, Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée and its Grand Année 1996, considered by the
fashionable Champagne house to have great ageing potential, will be shown. Another Champagne house, Taittinger, will show its latest release, Prelude Grand Cru Brut NV, a blend of 50% Chardonnay from Côte des Blancs and 50% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims.
It is being produced in limited volumes and will carry a retail price of about £33.
The Old World is not immune from the onslaught of branded wines, a movement led by New World countries, and Italy’s Canti will be showing a number of new additions through its agent D& D wines. These include 25cl bottles for its dual varietal wines and mini-maxi twin packs comprising a 75cl bottle shrinkwrapped with a 25cl bottle for use in promotions later in the year. Canti has also produced its first rosé wine.
Another Italian producer, Casa Girelli, will launch two new varietal wines made from indigenous grape varieties. Canaletto Salento Rosé is made from 100% Negroamaro grapes and will retail at
around £4.99. Casa Girelli will also unveil the second wine from its Sicilian estate, Feudo Santa Tresa - Avulisi. It is made from Nero d’Avola grapes and will retail at about £12.99.
Pasqua will be launching Amarone Vigneti Casterna 2000 at the show, and according to UK agent PLB, will be aiming to bring a more fruit-driven and modern Italian wine to the market.
Spain’s Bodegas Murviedro is adding Monastrell and Garnacha wines to its Santerra brand.
The company’s philosophy is to apply advanced winemaking techniques to traditional Spanish grape varieties.
Bodegas Montecillo will be exhibiting three new vintages of Riojas in the Spanish Pavilion. A 2000 vintage Crianza wine has been produced to have a fruit-driven style to appeal to the UK market.
The famous Rioja brand Faustino will be showing off its new bottles and labels at Cellar Trends’ stand. The Spanish producer has recently won extended listings with Asda and Tesco. Cellar Trends is also launching the Fortius brand from Navarra in Spain.
PLB will show Spanish wines from a new agency, Cherubino Valsangiacomo, which will be fulfilling PLB’s substantial own label business at £3.49 to £3.99 price points, as well as providing branded wines from £3 to £8.
Cava producer Freixenet will be showing its recently launched super-premium Cava, Cordon Negro Vintage 2001, pitched in the market between Cava and Champagne. UK firm Freixenet will also be showing French wines from Bordeaux and Languedoc.
Germany’s Binderer St Ursula will be unveiling the relaunched Devil’s Rock Riesling through UK firm Thierry’s and expanding the range with the launch of a Pinot Grigio.
Zimmermann Graeff & Muller will also be unveiling its Fire Mountain Rosé.