United Wine Growers (UWG) has launched its first brand for the UK drinks sector.

Black Beauty is a 100% Garnacha-Tintorera, which is described as one of the rarer red juice and pulp grape varieties but with skins that are thicker and almost black in colour.

The variety has a long history, being cultivated in places such as California during the prohibition days, in the Alentejo region of Portugal as well as once being the most planted red grape in France. Today it is also known as Alicante-Bouschet, originally a cross between Grenache and Petit-Bouschet grapes.

Black Beauty comes from the Almanso DO area, and UWG said it has partnered with “probably the best producer in the region for this grape”, Bodegas Santa Cruz Alpera, a co-operative group originally founded in 1947.

The wine will be aimed at the retail market in the UK with a recommended price of £7.99.

UWG is a new business created by Simon Fredericks and Peter Crameri, formerly of Myliko Wines. The duo were previously board directors of former PLB Group, which was started by Fredericks’ father.

Crameri said: “United Wine Growers operates essentially as a wine export office that works on behalf of selected growers, primarily in France and Spain, as well as Australia. On the one hand we will be their route to market, and on the other also a sourcing partner for key players in the UK, for all sectors of the trade.  UWG will also be developing and distributing its own brands in the market, here in the UK and Ireland.”

He added: “In a highly competitive and evolving yet dynamic market, we see fantastic new opportunities going forward to capitalize, together with the producers, on what will undoubtedly become a new way of commercializing wine, and at a time also where the demand for innovation, novelty and point of difference are clearly now major factors in selling wine. The key emphasis always being offering terrific value for money, at all price points, with an attractive range of wines directly from the source, whilst listening to what the market wants”.