Soft drink producer V-Net Beverage has taken an equity stake in Meritage Wine Brokerage of California as part of a deal that will also see see V-Net supply Meritage with botanicals for its herb infused specialty wines.

In a statement, Meritage's president and CEO James Clements said: "V-Net's vast experience and network for sourcing high quality botanicals are essential for Meritage's quality control and marketing edge. V-Net's long-term relationship with the herb American ginseng and other botanical suppliers will insure an adequate supply to meet a national demand. Meritage can now confidently focus on national distribution of its specialty wine brands."

V-Net's president Robert Corr said: "The use of botanicals in beverages since the early 1900's has slowly grown. However, a demand has emerged over the last 5 years and trends indicate that herbal infused beverages are now here to stay."