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Fledgling wine brand pranks Innocent Drinks

Published:  26 July, 2012

A fledgling low-calorie wine brand, Skinny Vines, garnered publicity today by playing a prank on soft drinks firm Innocent.

Skinny Vines, which is launching a 25% lower calorie Sauvignon Blanc, hung a banner saying "Forget the juice... drink wine", from the roof of Innocent's west London headquarters.

Tanya Grand, marketing manager for the brand, whose wines are not yet available here, said the move was inspired by Virgin founder Richard Branson's more famous pranks. On April Fool's Day this year, Branson caught some people out with his announcement that he was setting up Virgin Volcanic to travel to the centre of active volcanoes.

The brand, which so far only has a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on offer, is hoping to expand the range. Its abv content it 9-9.5% abv.

After Skinny Vines tweeted: "Inspired by @richardbranson we pulled a prank on Richard Reed & @innocentdrinks", Richard Branson, who has 2 million followers on the social network, replied: "Nice work, very cheeky!".

Skinny Vines then said: "So excited that Richard Branson tweeted about Skinny Vines. Let's hope @waitrosewine decide to stock our wine!!!"

The brand lowers its wine's alcohol content, and therefore calorie count, through reverse osmosis. It claims to have 25% lass calories than the average glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with 75 calories per 120 ml glass.

The company was founded by Grand; New Zealand winemaker Steve Harrop: logistics co-ordinator Logan Taylor and social networking manager Nicole Lambe.