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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Castel Frres, the world's third-largest wine company, is preparing to spend around half a million pounds over the next year on promoting its recently launched eponymous brand in an attempt to reach the Nielsen top 10 in the next three years. According to area director Emile Geli, the company's target is to not just outsell Chasse du Pape and Piat d'Or but to take on the big New World brands as well.' A newspaper and lifestyle magazine advertising campaign will break this autumn, with another tranche of ads in the spring. PR activity has also been stepped up and sponsorship opportunities are currently being investigated'. The three-tier range, launched in a soft way' earlier this year, was the result of in-depth consumer research. We have worked back from the consumer to develop the brand,' said Geli, which is the opposite way to how most French companies work.The range starts at 4.49 for red and white Vins de Pays, then moves on to eight single varietal wines at 4.99. The top tier consists of three AOC wines (Bordeaux, Ctes du Rhne and a Chablis priced from 5.99 to 8.99. The range can change depending on the market's needs,' added Geli. The Castel name acts as an umbrella brand for our wines. We are already looking at adding another AOC wine'. The strapline for the new campaign is French without the Fuss'. Virginie de Marles, Castel's international marketing manager, said: The campaign sends a clear message to all our markets - the Castel brand is a top priority for the company and we are using the financial muscle of the group to ensure that our brand is the one that leads the French category forward.' At the time of going to press, Sainsbury's was the first major listing for the Castel brand.