The Wine Group (TWG) and Les Grands Chais de France (GCF) have signed a strategic alliance to cover the US and Europe.

The deal will unite the portfolios of the world's third and fourth largest wine producers.

TWG will distribute GCF brands throughout the US; a portfolio that includes the world's leading French wine brand, J.P. Chenet, along with leading premium brands such as La Baume and Kiwi Cuvee.

Similarly, GCF will distribute TWG brands throughout Europe; a portfolio that includes Franzia, along with leading premium brands such as Gray Fox, Fish Eye and Concannon.

David B. Kent, chief executive of The Wine Group, said: "The rapid pace of consolidation within the wine industry requires ever greater scale and efficiency to address the needs of our customers and their consumers.  GCF has successfully demonstrated its brand building strength in Europe, as we have done in America, and together we can expand our respective brand portfolios into new and exciting markets."

Joseph Helfrich, president of Les Grands Chais de France, said: "In The Wine Group we have found a company which shares our core values of delivering exceptional quality wines for the price. We look forward to working together to expand the distribution of their brands throughout Europe, while at the same time assisting them in building our brands in the USA."

The agreement covers all channels of trade. The combined table wine portfolio will be the world's second largest, representing over 60 million 9L cases.

The distribution agreement does not affect Golden State Vintners, a wholly owned but separate operating division of TWG specialising in bulk wine.