Constellation Europe is planning to increase the focus and support behind its premium wine portofolio during the coming year, the European arm of the US-based wines and spirits force has announced.

Constellation said yesterday (3 March) that 2008 would see it "significantly increase its focus and the resource behind its premium wine portfolio and capitalise on its unrivalled access to its wine makers across the globe".

With the recent acquisition of South African Flagstone Winery, Constellation's premium portfolio now encompasses all major New World wine-producing countries.

Working with its distributors Matthew Clark, Wine Studio, Liberty Wines and Whittaker Wines, Constellation said that the approach would allow for a greater level of support and focus for each winery.

"Premium wines and premiumisation are critical to the long-term success of the wine category as a whole," said Simon Thorpe, vice president at Constellation Europe. "The premium wine category has seen double-digit growth for the last three years proving its importance to the industry and through the launch of our Premium Wine Estates, we are committed to both supporting and growing the premium wine category by bringing its new portfolio to a broader customer and consumer audience."