Larkin Wines, a winery based in Napa Valley which specialises Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends retailing at around £70, is set to launch a range of canned wines in the UK, focusing on wine merchants, speciality food and drink retailers and event catering companies.
The range, which will include a white blend (Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Rousanne), a Merlot and a rosé made from Pinot Noir, will retail at £9.99 per 375ml can. Distribution will be managed by Californian agency James Hocking Wine.
Grapes have been sourced from the same small plot vineyards used for Larkin’s bottling. The new range will have the dual effect of injecting fun into the super-premium category and premiumisation into the canned category.
Canned wine is making gains in the UK off-trade, with supermarket Sainsbury’s adding two French wine tinnies to its range last month. Waitrose has also has launched a range of canned wines in recent months.
Sales of canned wine have already soared in the US, with year-on-year sales up 43% in 2018. Indeed, Waitrose has pinpointed canned wine as a major drinks trend for 2019, and numerous canned wine brands have made the national debut in the mults over past months. At least one major wine brand is also set to move into the format later this year.
“The idea came about when I was at the beach with friends and we had no wine due to the no glass policy,” owner and winemaker Sean Larkin said.
“I started researching alternatively-packaged wines already on the market, and quickly realised there was no offer within the super-premium category. It was pretty clear that putting top notch Napa Valley wine in a beer can might be divisive – and certainly a little crazy – but I genuinely feel there is significant market potential.”