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UK retailers and the on-trade can now catch a Chronic case of wine

Published:  03 July, 2015

A brand which aims to do for wine what hip craft brewers have for beer is making its UK debut.

Brand building company Winery Exchange has released four wines from the Chronic Cellars portfolio that it bought in early 2014.

The producer was founded by brothers Jake and Josh Beckett in 2008 in the Paso Robles region of California and has won a cult following for its red blends with cheeky and punning names and brightly-coloured labels. Both brothers remain involved in the brand.

Blends being sold in the UK are Sofa King Bueno (rrp 18.99), Dead Nuts (£21.99) and Purple Paradise - which has won a listing in Majestic where it will sell for £16.99 or £12.74 each for two bottle purchases.

There is also a Petitie Sirah called Suite Petite at £16.99.

Winery Exchange said it was in discussion with distributors about hitting independents and the on-trade.

The wines are made with grapes from two estate vineyards in the region's West Side and others bought in from 15 growers.

Jake Beckett, who still leads marketing for the brand, said: "Brits have such a smart sense of humour. They are totally going to dig the brand's names and artwork, especially the younger generation.

"Over the years we've had so many requests from the UK that I can't wait to see their reaction."

The wines have not previously been released on the UK market because there weren't enough supplies to go round, a problem Winery Exchange said had now been dealt with, though UK stocks remain limited.

"Until now it has been a case of you can look but you can't touch," said Winery Exchange managing director Rufus Weston.

Winemaker Josh Beckett said: "When we introduced Chronic, we didn't want to be like any other wine.

"Most wineries take themselves so seriously. We wanted to create a brand that would attract new consumers to wine, not intimidate them."