Sainsbury wine label design, colours, similar to New Zealand's Villa Maria

Key elements of Villa Maria's label have also been used for the Villetta brand.
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ

Key elements of Villa Maria's label have also been used for the Villetta brand.

New Zealand winery Villa Maria has asked a British supermarket giant to pull a rival house wine label from its shelves, claiming the labels are too similar.

Villa Maria has approached Sainsbury's in London following public confusion around the supermarket's cheaper Villetta Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc label.

The label appears to be similar to Villa Maria's. It looks to have adopted the Villa Maria white label with gold surround, as well as a similar wing-like logo in a similar shade of red.

The Villetta wine retails for £7 (NZ$12.60) on Sainsbury's website, while the Villa Maria wine is being sold for £9.

READ MORE: Villa Maria voted one of world's most admired wine brands

Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich​ said the company was seeking legal advice, though he hoped he would not have to act on it.

Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich says he has taken legal advice over a wine label dispute with Sainsbury's.
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich says he has taken legal advice over a wine label dispute with Sainsbury's.

"Villa Maria has spent over 30 years working hard on promoting its brand in the UK and becoming one of the most recognisable New Zealand wine brands in the market.

"However, since Villetta launched, we have received a lot of feedback about consumer confusion because of the similarities in design."

On one occasion, a New Zealand-based Villa Maria employee ,who was visiting the UK, mistook Villetta for Villa Maria when she saw the wine on a shop shelf, Fistonich said.

​"We are quite sure that Sainsbury are aware of this design similarity and are hopeful that they will show respect for the Villa Maria brand and withdraw the Villetta label so that we can end the confusion in the market."

Fistonich said Villa Maria would work with Sainsbury's to find an "amicable solution that works for all parties", he said.

Sainsbury's has not responded to requests for comment.

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 - Stuff

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