Global Wine Ventures Ltd (GWV) has announced that it has agreed a national distribution agreement with red+white, an independent national distributor of fine wines, for its newest brand Cowrock Vineyards.

The company said it is also seeking to develop the brand in export markets. GWV's marketing director Sam Atkins said that Cowrock, which is produced in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, was developed "with a view to releasing a quality-driven, value for money Margaret River brand on to the global marketplace".

The first release will include a 2006 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon and a 2005 Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, with a recommended retail price of A$14.99 (US$11.31). The new wines are expected to be available in stores from the beginning of August.

"The Cowrock Vineyards brand is the first in a portfolio of new 'premium' and 'super premium' brands that Global Wines is developing with our partners around the world," Atkins said. "Red+white was our first choice for distribution in Australia and have been fantastic partners in the development of the Cowrock brand. Distribution is the vital ingredient to the success of any brand in any market around the world. We are also currently negotiating similar agreements in the US, UK and select parts of Asia for the Cowrock brand, with good levels of interest in all these regions."

The company added that the Cowrock wines had been made to reflect the leading varieties and characteristics of the Margaret River region. The majority of the fruit for the wines will be sourced from the 44-hectare Margaret River vineyard renamed Cowrock, situated 20km south of the Margaret River township.

Murray McLeod, marketing director of CASAMA, which owns and operates red+white, said his company was "right behind" the new brand, for which it saw long-term potential in Australia and New Zealand.

"We have been closely involved in the development of the Cowrock Vineyards and look forward to its release to the market," McLeod said. "This is a brand that we expect will capture the imagination of the Australian wine drinker and will deliver a level of quality and value that the consumer will be extremely pleased with."