Global giant Constellation is aiming to ‘attack’ the UK market with the newly-styled Woodbridge range from Robert Mondavi.

Convinced that the greatest growth in the UK market lies in the £6-15 sector, Constellation Europe CEO Christopher Carson said today at the London International Wines and Spirits Fair that they wanted to ‘educate and encourage consumers to pay another pound or two pounds for a bottle of wine.’

‘The biggest challenge for us is the £6-15 sector,’ Carson said. ‘The only country that’s growing in that sector is the US. Australian wines above £5 are slipping back, France above £5 has slipped back. The US is growing at a small level.’

Mondavi is strong in the US, in northern Europe and in Asia. The weakest market, Carson said, is the UK. However, the company’s research had shown ‘good recognition’ of the Robert Mondavi name amongst ‘a certain demographic’ in the UK, Marina Gayan MW of Constellation’s premium division Cellar Door said.

Robert Mondavi, Carson said, is the brand ‘that can spearhead the attack’ at the £6-15 price point. ‘It will offer great value, providing consumers with a doorway to the Robert Mondavi range.’

Constellation, which took over the entire Mondavi portfolio at the end of 2004, has changed the style of Woodbridge to provide ‘more pop in the fruit and more roundness in the palate – to give it a more Californian character,’ winemaker Todd Ziemann said.

The three Woodbridge wines, all bottled under screwcap, are the Chardonnay, the Shiraz and the Cabernet Sauvignon. They will retail in the UK for £6.49.

Carson said the rest of the Mondavi range, including the Robert Mondavi Private Selection, the Napa range, the District range and the Robert Mondavi Reserve, will remain unchanged.

Written by Adam Lechmere