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WineStar first to offer AOC wines in cans

A French start-up company is using premium wine cans from Ball for its Languedoc-Roussillon Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée red, white and rosé wines.

Fabulous Brands, the company behind WineStar, is the first to offer French medal winning wines with an AOC-label in aluminum cans. A red, a rosé and a white wine are available in 200ml special cans produced by Ball Packaging Europe. Quality is the unique selling point of the WineStar range. All three wines are labelled AOC. The wines originate from Château de I`Ille, an award-winning wine producer from the Languedoc region. In the future, WineStar is planning to grow its range and include wines from other AOC regions like Burgundy, Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône.

Fabulous Brands founder Cédric Segal has high ambitions: “We want to become the ‘Nespresso’ of wine and make the quality wine market more democratic. Why open a bottle when you can choose from a selection of delicious, award winning wines, one can at a time?

“We want to change the way consumers enjoy high quality French wine, in a small, elegant and trendy packaging. We worked with Ball Packaging Europe to develop premium wine cans for AOC wines to help us realize this ambition. Already prestigious customers, such as the Carrefour retail chain and the Hyatt hotels have adopted the WineStar products in their range.”

The wine can with Protected Quality seal

Ball Packaging Europe is a specialist for premium wine cans, having developed the wine can with Protected Quality seal for high-quality wine.

“This expertise was very helpful for the development of the WineStar can,” says Adriana Escobar, product manager at Ball Packaging Europe in Germany. The can has a special internal coating that insures both integrity of the wine and a shelf-life of at least 12 months. “Wine is very sensitive, especially concerning the contact with oxygen,” Escobar says. “This is why our special wine cans are such a good match for premium wines. They are completely lightproof and oxygen-tight and thus ensure constant quality of the product. And of course canned wine will never ‘cork’.”

First Gold medal for French wine in a can

The first canned AOC-labeled wines come from Château de I’Ille, whose independent winemaker Pol Flandroy won over 200 medals for his premium wines. Winestar chose from his excellent range: The red wine is called Cuvée Andréas, a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, 20% Carignan and 10% Grenache. The white wine’ Cuvée Emilie’ is 55% Malvoisie, 25% Vermentino and 20% Grenache blanc. The third canned wine is a rosé called Cuvée Alexandre made from 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache.

 All three WineStar wines were submitted to the CWSA 2013 International wine contest and received medals, including Gold. It is the first time a French wine in a can has received a Gold medal in a blind tasting by wine professionals and against more than 5,300 wines in bottles. This confirms that the quality of the wines is high end and that the can perfectly preserves the wine characteristics.

A promising market

The time is definitely ripe for premium wine by WineStar: Over the last years, the segment of canned wine in Europe has been growing by 10-15%. Market research companies are predicting an average growth rate of wine cans consumption of about 4% per year until 2018 across Europe.

Young consumers between 20 and 39 years are particularly attracted to canned beverages. They are active and enjoy their drink outdoors. Cans will not break, they are easy to chill and lightweight. Convenient single-serve portions make canned wine even more attractive. WineStar does not only aim at the younger crowd but also at the travel industry: Canned wine carrying an AOC label is also suitable for premium hotel minibars, first-class airplane meals or up-market train coach buffets.

At the moment, WineStar cans are primarily available in France at retail stores, wine stores and online ( The young French start-up aims to sell their products all over Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Finland and Norway but also in China and Russia. In Germany, a major chain of retail stores has already shown interest in the premium wine range.

26 March 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor