E&J Gallo has bought Spanish wine brand Las Rocas in order to increase its presence in the growing Spanish wine category in the US.

Gallo said today (9 February) that it has bought Las Rocas from European Cellars for an undisclosed fee. It will begin importing Las Rocas wines in April 2009.

A Gallo spokesperson told just-drinks today: "For Gallo, the Las Rocas deal is important from the standpoint of increasing our presence in a growing category (Spain)."

Las Rocas wines are produced by Bodegas San Alejandro in Miedes, Spain, and European Cellars' founder, Eric Solomon, will continue to consult with the winemakers on the products.

The brand was launched in the US in 2003 and its Las Rocas Garnacha is priced at $12, with the Viñas Viejas Garnacha priced at $18. Both wines are made only with the grenache grape varietal.

The Gallo spokesperson added: "Grenache is increasing in popularity around the world, and it represents a tremendous red wine value to US consumers. In terms of size, Las Rocas is a fairly small brand for now and we hope to grow that substantially over the coming years."