Kingsland Drinks has announced a new partnership with the second largest and one of the most awarded Romanian wine producers – The Iconic Estate – in a move to further broaden its offering and fly the flag for Central Eastern European wines in the UK.  

The Salford-based wine importer and distributor will add a comprehensive Romanian range to the portfolio at three price points – entry, mid and premium – available to the UK retail and hospitality sectors under clearly defined brands.

From the end of October 2021, Kingsland Drinks will be importing and distributing four entry level wines from the Rhea range (Feteasca Neagra blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir) – the name is inspired by the mother of Zeus, who personified the earth. These will be available to independents and on-trade customers from £7.99 RRP.

In the mid-range varietal tier, the Prahova Valley collection joins the portfolio displaying Dealu Mare regionality – along with Blanc, Rosé and Rosso as tri-varietal blends from the Byzantium branded range.

The Hyperion range enters at the higher end of the price bracket. This collection will really foster interest from consumers and help to prove Romanian wine’s credentials especially at the top end of the wine fixture. The Hyperion Feteasca Neagra won the Grand Gold Medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2021.

The Iconic Estate is already familiar with the UK market due to historic links with Halewood. Under the new partnership with Kingsland Drinks, The Iconic Estate, now owned by the Alexandrion Group, will share its know-how and passion for Romanian wine production. The winery has proven technical expertise and excellence and holds the BRC accreditation, which many wineries in Romania do not. Kingsland Drinks is keen to build on these standards, will provide UK shopper insights, taste preferences and flavour profiles in demand, commercial information and the all-important buyer relationships.

Eastern European wines are becoming much more prevalent in the UK, and Romania comes in fifth position for areas under vine in the EU (after Spain, France, Italy and Portugal).

Kathryn Glass, Wine Buyer and Educator at Kingsland Drinks, says: “We’re thrilled to be working with The Iconic Estate to bring their quality and accessible wines to the UK market. Their wines are authentic, distinctive, credible, well made and really demonstrate the breadth of wines available from Romania at various price points, using native grapes and globally recognised varietals. This part of the world is often overlooked when it comes to wine production but huge strides have been made among winemakers striving to elevate the quality credentials of their wines and become internationally recognised, appreciated and celebrated. Wines from The Iconic Estate have achieved international status, won awards and accolades globally, offer a great price to quality ratio and we know there’s a real appetite for these wines right now.

“During the pandemic, we’ve observed shopper behaviours?and?how?consumers are?taking a leap into the unexpected?and branching out in?their?wine buying.?In addition, shortages of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand mean the gap will need to be plugged and Romanian alternatives are ready and available, offering good quality, affordable, wines that we know consumers will welcome wholeheartedly. It’s time to give these wines the spotlight they deserve and we know drinkers are ready to explore?off-beat?wines and set foot into?lesser-known?wine growing regions such as Romania.

“At Kingsland Drinks, we are?working?hard with our?partner producers to source more unusual?wines and bring them to market, explore lesser-known?regions, and?secure shelf space for some of these?hidden?gem wines.?Alongside this, the team monitors consumer?trends to ensure the products being sourced will be well received by wine drinkers and?have the potential to?encourage new shoppers to the category.”

Dragos Plopeanu, Regional Export Director Europe, CIS and China at The Iconic Estate, says: “We’re excited to embark on this new partnership with Kingsland Drinks and it marks a real shift in our global strategy. Kathryn and the team really got under the skin of our wine portfolio and identified the optimal range for the UK market with wines such as our Feteasca Neagra standing alongside world renowned grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. We work hard to ensure every wine we produce is the best possible quality it can be, at a price point that suits today’s pockets – whether for a mid-week easy drinker, or a more premium purchase for the weekend. We’re confident Kingsland Drinks will take our wines and bring them to the UK mainstream and soon Romanian wine will be the drink on everyone’s lips.”

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