17th June, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt
Felix Solis has launched a range of varietally-labelled wines from Spain designed to bring New World drinkers back to the Old World.
Contenda incorporates cues from leading New World wine brands
Called Contenda, the range comprises a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Tempranillo rosé as well as a further rosé made with Grenache in a sweet or “blush” stye.
The look of the new wines is deliberately styled to look similar to leading South American wine brands, while offering typical Spanish value for money.
While all the wines in the range are available in Sainsbury’s with RRPs of £5, the wine was launched last month in the UK supermarket with an introductory offer of 3 for £12.
Speaking to the drinks business earlier this month about the new range of wines, Richard Cochrane, managing director at Felix Solis UK, said that Contenda was designed to bring supermarket shoppers back to European wines.
“The message with these wines is that Spain can do international varieties extremely well, and we want to give consumers of New World varietally-labelled wine the confidence to buy wine from Spain… so we are bringing the consumer back to the Old World,” he said.
While acknowledging that the wines would remain within the Spanish sector of a supermarket, during promotional periods the Contenda wines would break out of this area of the store, boosting sales significantly.
“The wines are in the Spanish section until they are on promotion, and then they go on the gondola end, and that’s when they really motor,” he commented.
Meanwhile, he admitted that the labelling “was not Spanish per se,” adding, “the point is that this is nothing to do with Spain, but to entice someone walking into a supermarket looking for a bottle of Chardonnay or Shiraz.”