New Australian company Palandri is building a bridgehead in the UK to sell a range of premium wines. It has a budget of £2m for start-up costs and the launch of several wine brands. The first is Solora, which will be a combination of premium blends and varietals from Western Australia, retailing at £6.99. The commercial flagship is Palandri, a collection of varietals, selling at £9.99. Above this is a super premium wine, Palandri Reserve, which will be released next year. The company has avoided the usual practice of signing a deal with a UK agent and plunged straight in with a six-strong sales team, led by marketing manager Andrew Blythe. Unlike its Australian competitors, it is not planning to chase the big volume opportunities through the major multiples. Instead, it is to go through the independents and the on-trade and is signing deals with regional wholesalers. Blythe said: "If you have control of your own destiny you can deliver more than other companies that just appoint their own distributors. "Many independents are annoyed because most of the Australians only want to go into the multiples. "I don't believe that is the right way. The independents and the on-trade are generally under represented and there is an opportunity there." Blythe said he was prepared to spend heavily to develop brands in these channels. This year the backing will consist of in store and depot promotional activity, backed by some regional advertising to support the wholesalers. He said that as distribution increased next year he would be advertising the wines more widely. "In order to be aggressive, Palandri's philosophy is to put a dollar behind tangible assets ­ our vineyards and production facility ­ and match it with an equal dollar for brand development," he added. {{DRINKS }}