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McGuigan Wines launches exclusive Family Release range in Waitrose

Published:  22 March, 2016

Australian winery McGuigan Wines has partnered with Waitrose on an exclusive range of wines under the Family Release brand.

The Family Release range at launch features Chardonnay and Shiraz varietals has been specially developed for Waitrose by the wine-making team at McGuigan's South Australia vineyards.

Neil McGuigan, chief winemaker for McGuigan Wines, said: "The Family Release range was created in conjunction with the Waitrose team to celebrate more than a century of winemaking under the McGuigan name, which is truly a fantastic achievement for our brand.

"We're excited to bring these delicious wines to the UK market through Waitrose and look forward to seeing the different occasions wine lovers choose to enjoy them at."

McGuigan is the fourth largest wine brand by volume and value in the UK where it sells some 1.5 million cases per year.

It is the second fastest growing wine brand in the UK and has also recently entered the UK top 20 global alcohol brands by value.

Sales of McGuigan branded wines grew 28% globally in the six months to December 31, 2015, with sales in the UK and Europe up 25%.

Growth in the McGuigan brand helped sales at parent company Australian Vintage hit £69 million for the half year, up £4.3 million year on year.

Profits at the group rose 80% in the period, reaching £2 million.

The McGuigan family is now into its fourth generation of winemakers.

The family started growing wines in the Hunter Valley as far back as 1880, but did not establish itself commercially until 1992.

McGuigan Wines merged with Simeon Wines in 2003 to create McGuigan Simeon, at the time Australia's fourth largest wine group.

Following the acquisitions of Miranda Wines in 2007 and Nepenthe Wines the following year, the group rebranded as Australian Vintage in 2008.

Australian Vintage has invested heavily in marketing McGuigan Wines in the UK, including the launch of the Bring a McGuigan cross-media advertising campaign last autumn which included TV, radio, cinema and online spots.

The McGuigan Family Release Chardonnay has an abv of 13% and is described as offering ripe tropical fruit and peach flavours married to subtle oak notes.

The McGuigan Family Release Shiraz has a slightly higher abv at 13.5% and promises to be "a smooth, full-bodied red with rich plum and blackcurrant flavours and a warm spicy aftertaste".

The McGuigan Family Reserve range is available now in Waitrose at £8.99 per bottle.