The US winemaker Ernest & Julio Gallo is to introduce generic red and white wines to its Sierra Valley range in the UK from April.

The two wines will retail at a recommended price of £3.99.
"Generics currently account for 28% of the total UK off trade market, with US generics outperforming the sector with 14% share and showing growth of 19% in 2003," said Gallo in a statement.

The red and white generics target entry level wine drinkers. Gallo said it hopes that these consumers will ultimately trade up to the Ernest & Julio Gallo Sierra Valley varietal ranges as their confidence and wine experience develops 

Ian Belcher, UK Marketing Controller at Ernest & Julio Gallo, says: "Generics present a huge opportunity in the UK marketplace as a volume driver.  The Ernest and Julio Gallo Sierra Valley red and white varietals will provide consumers with limited experience of wine, the confidence to select a bottle without being overwhelmed by different grape types and vintages. The introduction of these two wines has positive implications for the industry as a whole, bringing in a raft of new entry level consumers that will ultimately grow the overall market."

Gallo will support the launch of the Sierra Valley generics with a heavy weight trade advertising campaign, in-store displays and large scale promotions in-store.