Germany's second-biggest wine supplier has set its sights on reviving German wine in the UK.
ZGM, which owns Michel Schneider, Germany's biggest wine brand by volume, has nearly doubled its business in Germany in the past four years following a shift in strategy and significant investment in research.
UK MD Steve Howard says the company intends to follow a similar strategy in the UK. "We have invested £175,000 in research over the past 18 months in the UK and have earmarked £75,000 for the next 12 months," he said.
"Now is the right time to push German wines in this market as consumers are becoming more adventurous.Younger drinkers coming into wine have none of the preconceptions about German wines that some older people have."
International varietals and red wines offered the main growth potential, said Howard. "German wines have changed in style, away from the sweet hock and liebfraumilch that we were known for, and wineries are doing well with drier aromatic whites," he said.
In a bid to capitalise on this opportunity the company will be launching a new brand in February.
Palatium is aimed at the premium market, priced at £5.99 a bottle.
The line-up consists of just one varietal, Pinot Blanc, though the company said there were plans to expand the range with a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Grigio if the brand proved successful.