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Canned Wine Co. extends premium reach with fizz

Published:  16 May, 2023

Canned Wine Co. has extended its premium-focused range into sparkling wine, with the roll out of more to come.

Speaking to Harpers at London Wine Fair, where canned wine providers were notable this year in number, the company’s co-director Ben Franks explained that the ethos of “working with some of the best winemakers in Europe” had been extended to a new sparkling Chardonnay, eschewing Glera for a point of difference.

The resulting Sparkling Chardonnay No. 1 is a fizz from Monferrato in Italy, with the grapes undergoing a second fermentation, adding complexity and depth to the wine in the can.

In a world newly awash with alternative formats, the Canned Wine Co. has been carving out a path with a range looking to up the canned ante with premium products, with the likes of Austrian Gruner (from Huber), Languedocian Viognier (from Famille d’Exéa) and Old Vine Garnacha from Aragon (made by Norrel Robertson MW), among others.

“We want the wines to be very true to the countries and places of origin,” said Franks, “and with the sparkling we wanted to avoid Glera as there is a lot on the market.”

Of the fizz, he added: “A second version will be given more time on the lees and, if successful, we will look at further iterations, with barrel fermentation, and so on.”

It’s a far cry from the early days of canned wine, when the cheapest juice often found its way into the can, with up-market aspirations beginning to lift perception of the whole of this convenient and more sustainable packaging category.

With heavy-weight national distributors, including Enotria and Bibendum, the range has already made serious inroads in theatres and other cultural centres, plus, said Franks, smarter beach cafés and restaurants in counties as Devon and Cornwall, where the discerning go to holiday and play.

“In the three years since we launched, the market has shifted very quickly, from ‘you can’t do quality in a can’, to ‘oh, you can do quality in a can’, and now the momentum is gathering very quickly,” added co-owner Simon Rollings.

The pair also believe they have cracked a lingering issue with red wine in a can, which can suffer from reductive notes, by using bright, juice-forward examples pf varieties such as Garnacha and St Laurent, both of which were showing lively characteristics.

“Our Garnacha is from old, dry-farmed bush vines, aged in oak for at least a year, and it’s a process that really works for a wine going into a can,” added Franks.

Clearly, with attention to detail like that, it’s clear that this pair are firmly set on turning the dial on the quality of canned wine and – impressively – delivering these smartly packaged double serves at just £5.50 a pop. This, surely, is a glimpse of the future for cans.