A new Vin de Pays range from Bordeaux négociant Yvon Mau has been launched in the UK under the brand name Maison Mau by the company's distributor Freixenet (DWS) Ltd.

The range comprises five varietal offerings, Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Shiraz rosé, retailing at GBP5.99 (US$12)  a bottle. The launch is to be supported by consumer advertising, sampling and in-store activity.

"Whilst historically we have been strong in sourcing a vast range of different wines, our strategy for the future will concentrate on partnerships with high-quality Châteaux and developing brands through investment in research and marketing," said Jean-François Mau, the long-serving general manager at Yvon Mau, who steps down from his post later this month.

The packaging for Maison Mau was created by London Design Agency BR&Me after consumer research. The cockerel and weathervane icon is intended to symbolise the French countryside and heritage. The wines themselves were also tested prior to launch in blind tastings with consumers against best-selling wines on the UK market.

"Initial feedback to the range has been excellent," said Laura Woodhouse, brand manager for Yvon Mau at Freixenet (DWS).  "Customers recognise the range offers outstanding wine quality and excellent value for money. Our research has indicated that the fruity, soft style of the wine combined with the stylish, clear packaging will appeal to new consumers, attracting drinkers who traditionally see French wine as stuffy and complicated."