One of the world's leading wine producers, Beringer Blass, is setting up its own sales and distribution operation for the UK off-trade. The company's action follows the conclusion of the sale of its distributor Seagram to Diageo and Pernod Ricard. The move to go it alone in the off-trade has led to the creation of a new structure and the addition of sales and marketing teams. Managing director John Shortt said this represented a significant investment in the business and would more than double the size of the Beringer Blass UK operation. The company has also formed an alliance with Waverley Wines and Spirits which will sell its brands in the on-trade. The key Australian brands in the range are Wolf Blass, Rothbury Estate, Jamieson's Run and Yellowglen. The company's Italian wine, Castello di Gabbiano, a Chianti Classico, will probably join the range later this year. Shortt said: "The new structure will help us to increase sales growth in the UK and improve customer service. Wolf Blass will sit well in Waverley's portfolio, adding variety and value." There are no plans to incorporate the Beringer Blass Californian brands, which include Beringer Vineyards and Stag's Leap. They will continue to be handled in the UK by Berkmann Wine Cellars. {{DRINKS }}