Waitrose has unveiled the first 10 wines that will make up its new own-label range, called In Partnership With.
Eight of the 10 wines under the
new label have been sourced from the supermarket's long-standing supplier partners. Two - Ricasoli in Chianti and Hubert de Bouard in Saint-Emilion - are new to Waitrose.
The range has been developed over the past 18 months, with some of the wines rolled out over the summer to test consumer reaction. The bottles all carry a lower label with the wording Waitrose In Partnership With, plus the name and location of the winery. Waitrose's six-strong Solera sherry range has also been repackaged for the Partnership brand.
Speaking at the supermarket's recent autumn tasting, wine buying manager Justin Howard-Sneyd MW said two Californian wines will be introduced to the range early next year. A further six wines, including Sauternes and Valpolicella, will be added over the next six to nine months, and sparkling wines are also being sourced. The additions will bring the range total to 24.
Howard-Sneyd said the BWS team had deliberately started the range off with classic, rather than obscure, wines. "We don't want to spread it too wide into the weird and wonderful. I think we're adventurous in our normal range, but that's not necessarily suitable for own-label."
The range will be highlighted through in-store displays and pushed in Waitrose's customer magazines. "We're confident now we've seen how well they've started," Howard-Sneyd said.
Waitrose also highlighted its range of more than 40 organic and biodynamic wines, with sales "strong and growing" according to Howard-Sneyd.
Waitrose's food hall in John Lewis's Oxford Street branch opened on Oct 3. The 17,000 sq ft area stocks more than 70 Champagnes, 400 fine wine lines, 170 spirits and also a range of beers and ciders.