Famed winemaker Hugh Ryman has established a UK joint venture with the wine distributor Crush Wines. Ryman's company R-Wines has set up a joint UK sales and marketing office at Crush's HQ in Wiltshire.

Ryman, one of the first "flying winemakers", currently makes wines in South America, Spain and France. As part of the deal, Crush Wines is to take on distribution of Chile's largest independent producer Errazuriz Ovalle, with its Veo brand included in the agreement. The Quarra and Conquista brands, produced by Argentinean company Bodegas Lavaque, are also to move to Crush, along with several wines from regional Spain.

"The establishment of a UK office with Crush allows us to follow our strategy of working with quality-minded wine professionals," Ryman said. "Through R-Wines, we can control vineyard, winemaking and supply with our production partners and innovate through packaging and design."

Ryman explained that Crush's new, low-cost, low-margin business model would allow R-Wines' to get its products on UK shelves at competitive prices.

"Our administration and logistics are first class," said Crush Wines managing director Chris Ellis. "All Hugh's production centres are ISO certified as a minimum standard. The own-label and branded possibilities are immense."

Other wines included in the deal will be Le Grand Noir and Black Beret wines and the Organic Greener Planet range from Celliers Jean d'Alibert in Southern France, and Collection des Chateaux, a Bordeaux blend. These wines already currently have a presence in the Far East, Scandinavia and the US, and Crush Wines will be introducing them to the UK trade in the New Year.