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Villa Maria introduces UK bottling as shipping glass ‘just doesn’t make sense’

Plans have been put in place by the Indevin Group to bottle Villa Maria wines in the UK from 2024, the company has said.

The move for the New Zealand wine brand, which it said was driven by sustainability, has seen Encirc (Elton) selected for its UK operations to bottle a selection of Villa Maria wines from early 2024.

Stating it needed ‘to prioritise sustainability and consider the carbon footprint of shipping wine’ from New Zealand, the company said it wanted to “create a sustainable business for the future of the New Zealand wine industry”.

Indevin also said that the wine bottled in the UK would “be held to the same credentials” as the other Villa Maria wines and to “upholding exceptional quality standards”

Speaking about the move, Indevin CEO, Duncan McFarlane, said the transport of wine had “changed considerably over the years” in order to be “more innovative, sustainable and efficient” and shipping glass “just doesn’t make sense” as a result.

He said: “This move will reduce Villa Maria’s CO2 emissions by 27% for each shipment bottled in the UK and improve our ability to be more agile with UK customer orders.

“We hope this change can help us further strengthen our position to reach even more consumers with our quality wine.”

Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, said the deal was a “no-brainer” for the UK market, but that it did require pro-active collaboration to cut emissions across the supply chain. He said the partnership was also “a great example of just what is possible”.

Hatch Mansfield’s CEO, Patrick McGrath MW said the deal was “logical and very positive next step” for Villa Maria’s growth in the UK.

He said: “After facing some of the unexpected challenges which our industry has experienced in the last few years, I am excited about the flexibility this gives us for ensuring our customers can be looked after as effectively as possible and for the longer-term potential this offers for Villa Maria’s continued success.”

The news comes after a big marketing drive for Villa Maria this summer in the UK, which will see its ‘Live in the Delicious’ campaign showcase itss Sauvignon Blanc in the UK market.

Villa Maria was acquired in its entirety by contract winemaker Indevin in September 2021, following “an extensive nine month sale process”, according to a statement made to the drinks business.

Although the sale price was not revealed, Villa Maria Estate had previously been valued at around US $200 million.

The company restructure was not the only new thing to emerge from last year. Villa Maria also launched its EarthGarden range; a collection of 100% certified Organic, sustainable and vegan wines.

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