The UK’s largest wine supplier is branching out into the gin category with the launch of Stone’s ginger gin.

Hardys, Echo Falls and Kumala supplier Accolade Wines hopes to tap into a category worth £800 million in the off-trade (Nielsen).

The Australian firm owns the Stone’s ginger wine brand and it decided to launch its new gin under that, because it originally produced gin in London back in 1740.

It follows the launch of a flavoured vodka under its Echo Falls brand earlier this year, suggesting that Accolade is trying to put its eggs in more baskets as Brexit looms.

Abigail Whithair, Stone’s brand manager, said: “Sales of gin have increased by £253m in the UK in the last year [Nielsen] and volume growth is set to continue, with IWSR data suggesting an increase of 6.2% by 2021.

“Two thirds of alcohol consumers recognise the Stone’s brand and over 60% identify Stone’s as producing high quality ginger wine. We therefore wanted to extend our offering to introduce new consumers to the iconic Stone’s brand and monopolise on the current ginger flavour trend by putting the gin in ginger.”

Stone’s was first produced at London’s Finsbury Distillery in 1740. “It felt natural that we go back and honour the distillers of Finsbury by blending our gin heritage and ‘roots’ in ginger, to create our own Stone’s gin using traditional techniques,” said Whithair. “The original mill stones, used to crush the ginger for our ginger wine, can still be found on display on the corner of Northburgh Street in EC1.”

The new gin will have an rrp of £18 for a 70cl bottle.

David White, marketing director of Accolade Wines, said: “The strength of our brand portfolio is demonstrated by our ability to branch out into other categories.

“Consumers are always on the look-out for new products or serves and by harnessing our brand heritage with the current trends in gin, and in bold flavours – ginger in particular – we are confident that this exciting new product will encourage both our current and new consumers to try Stone’s Gin.

“Our recent successful launch of Echo Falls vodka demonstrates that our approach is tapping into strong consumer dynamics and creating new profit opportunities for our trade partners.”