Babich cuts its ties with Percy Fox

Babich is ending its partnership with Percy Fox and setting up its own UK office.

The producer is one of the most famous names on the New Zealand wine scene, and one of the country's largest family owned wineries.

But the brand is not among the Kiwi top-sellers in the off-trade, despite the booming New Zealand wine sector in the UK.

The market, up 18.9% in the past year according to Nielsen, is

led by Oyster Bay, Montana and Villa Maria.

Managing director Joe Babich said: "After many years of distribution and establishment of the Babich brand in the UK market we, along with Percy Fox, have decided that the time is right to take over the importation of our wines ourselves.

"While we are a significantly smaller organisation than Percy Fox, we feel our single-brand focus will result in a closer and more customised service for our trade customers. This is a firm objective for our new distribution structure."

Babich has a broad portfolio of wines mainly sourced from its own vineyards in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay.

The official transition takes place on

Sept 1. Up to that date Percy Fox

will continue to supply as normal. Justerini & Brooks will

still represent Babich and is not affected by the change.