V-Net Beverage is exercising its option to further its ownership in Meritage Wine Brokerage. V-Net's increased equity position in the company provides it with a definitive development and distribution role of Meritage's new organic herbal infused line of wines, the companies said in a joint statement yesterday (30 March).

Robert Corr, President of V-Net said: "We have seen first hand at the Expo-West trade show earlier this March increased use of botanicals in beverages, which continues growing every year. Herbal infused wines are the emerging wine trend, with huge revenue potential proven by the major's interest in producing these product types. Herbal infused wines is V-Nets natural product extension. This opportunity is the next trend. All our information indicates that herbal infused wine is the niche category we can capitalise on."

Meritage's president and CEO, James Clements, added: "We are thrilled that V-Net chooses to continue to exercise its acquisition option to take advantage of the herbal wine opportunity. V-Net and Meritage's individual expertise form the perfect alliance to service the scale that is on the horizon."

Both companies said that they are pleased with the increased commitment and view this agreement as the catalyst to move the development of the new organic herbal wines to the forefront.