Co-op adds English wines to its portfolio

The Co-op is set to add its first English wines, including a sparkling option and an own-label still white wine.

The still white, Limestone Rise, will be the first wine launched under the Co-op’s new premium ‘Irresistible’ range, and will be priced at £7.99. The wine is produced in the Surrey hills by award-winning English wine producer, Denbies.

The 11% abv Limestone Rise, which is a blend of Bacchus and Ortega grapes, will go into fewer than 1,000 Co-op stores. And similarly the new sparkling English wine, Balfour 1503 Foxwood Sparkling from Kent (rsp £16.99), will also go into a select number of stores.

Simon Cairns, category trading manager for beers, wines and spirits at Co-op, told OLN: “English sparkling will not be for all our stores. In the past the scale and volume required for all stores was a challenge but now that we are looking at our estate by cluster we can now do that. The English wines will go into stores before the end of October so they will be established for Christmas, which is great. Going into partnership with Denbies in this way helped us to achieve the right volume, and it fitted with our current change of strategy where we are looking at clusters of stores, rather than stores by size.

“With English wines we have been really looking at what is good value for money. You have to try and remain relevant. I have tried a lot of English wine and I asked myself whether it really offered good value for money, but occasionally it does. And at this price point it is competitive against Champagne.

“These are first English wines in our portfolio although we did have English wines in the range 15 years ago.”

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