TV wine channel 'smashes expectations' on launch

23 March, 2007

A TV station devoted to selling wine has been launched this week with ambitious plans to "beat the supermarkets at their own game".

Vinappris is a 24-hour channel with eight hours of live content between 5pm and 1am. Presenters spend 10 minutes describing each wine.

Head of purchasing Julian Twaites, formerly with Booker, Nisa-Today's and Thresher, said there had been a "soft launch" on Monday but sales had already exceeded expectations.

"We want to get little parcels of wine not available in the high street, starting at £5 and £6," he said. "We've set our ­expectations low and we've smashed them. We're surprised that the average bottle sold is £8 or £9. We've got 180 wines now and we'll soon have 300 or 400. We've started with a soft launch and over the next four weeks we'll get slicker and more dynamic."

Vinappris, on Sky channel 663 and also online, is an independent business backed by TV entrepreneurs Steve and John Bennett. It broadcasts from Fort Dunlop in Birmingham and has warehousing in Redditch, Worcs.

There are five presenters, all of whom have been given specialist wine training.

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