The new-look Stowells label from Constellation/Accolade Wines

The new-look Stowells label from Constellation/Accolade Wines

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Constellation Wines Australia & Europe has relaunched its Stowells wine brand in the UK, backed by a GBP0.5m (US$0.8m) investment.

Constellation has sought to modernise the Stowells label and change some of the grape varietals in an effort to connect with more regular wine drinkers, the group said earlier this week. It has backed the relaunch with a GBP0.5m investment, but there will not be a consumer advertising campaign. 

Stowells is the number one wine brand by volume in the UK on-trade, according to Constellation, which will be renamed Accolade Wines on 1 July. By value sales, Stowells is the number three wine brand in the UK market. The group declined to disclose specific sales figures for the brand, but said that 70% of its volume sales are in the country's on-trade.

Despite Stowells' strong position, Constellation's marketing manager, Clive Patten, told just-drinks: "I don't think we've done justice to the brand in recent years." The rebranding, he said, emphasises Stowells heritage and includes the signature of Frederick Stowells, who founded his own wine merchant house in 1878.

In addition, Constellation is launching a new Stowells range named 'Stowells Nine Yards', which will be exclusively sold in the UK on-trade and will initially include three Spanish varietals - a white Airen, red Tempranillo and rose Bobal.  

The on-trade is a major focus for Stowells and, over the last five years, Constellation has spent GBP10m to install draught fonts for Stowells wines in bars and pubs across the UK.