Call for California to break 5 barrier

23 March, 2007

California needs to improve its presence in the 5 to 10 price bracket to ensure long-term success in the UK market, according to suppliers.

Some suppliers who attended the California Wine Institute's annual tasting on March 13 said supermarkets and chains had limited the country's growth by selling wine below 5.

Delicato Family Vineyards area manager Elizabeth Rice said: "One thing that's missing in the UK is the middle ground, the wines between 5 to 10."

Another supplier of 7 to 10 wines, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "You come to a tasting hoping that supermarkets pop by and they like the wines, but they're price-point driven .

"Look at retail price points five years ago and retail price points now and there's very little difference despite duty increases."

Charles Martin, business manager for FGL Wine Estates EMEA, said: "California is dominated by Gallo, Blossom Hill and very low price points. These might be successful, but there are more premium Californian wines out there."

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