Spanish wine giant Félix Solís to launch NZ Sauvignon

Keen to capitalise on global drinking trends, Spanish wine giant Félix Solís is to launch a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the UK this year under its popular Pulpo brand.

Aimed specifically at the UK on-trade, the label features the colours of Félix Solís’ Rías Baixas Pulpo Albariño in reverse, with the main label and octopus graphic turning from white to black and the Pulpo shield logo going from black to white.

Made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Marlborough, Pulpo Sauvignon Blanc is a collaboration between Félix Solís and Alastair Maling MW of Foley Family Wines.

Maling, who left Villa Maria in 2015 after 12 years to join Foley Family Wines, has crafted the wine for Félix Solís at the Foley Family Wines facility.

The same Sauvignon, which is due to be bottled in November, will be sold in the UK off-trade under the Southern Ocean brand, which boasts a nautical-inspired label, in order to provide the two channels with distinct brands.

“Sales of Spanish whites are on the rise but they still have a long way to go. New Zealand is the best-selling country for white wines in the UK, so we’re keen to engage with those customers and hopefully navigate them back to Spain via the Pulpo brand,” Félix Solís’ UK managing director, Richard Cochrane told db.

“We’re hoping that people who go for our Pulpo Sauvignon Blanc will be drawn to explore our Pulpo Albariño due to the brand continuity – we see it as a stepping stone back to Spain and also a chance to link up with the most successful white wine country in the UK,” Cochrane added.

He revealed that Félix Solís has commissioned a couple of tanks of the Sauvignon to be made and the company plans to be producing 100,000 litres of the wine next year, which will be shipped in bulk to Félix Solís’ HQ in Valdepeñas.

In the off-trade, Southern Ocean Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc will carry a recommended retail price of around £9.40 and Cochrane is hoping the ‘big four’ supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, will list it.

19,000 bottles of Southern Ocean have already been sold in the Czech Republic.

There will be no mention of Félix Solís on the label, as the company is keen for the two labels to stand alone as New Zealand brands in their own right.

Sales and marketing director Félix Solís Ramos is hoping that the wine will provide a chance to get Spanish consumers into New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which has yet to take off in the country due to a lack of availability.

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