Invivo launches Graham Norton wine in United States

ELLEN READ
Last updated 18:00 20/12/2016

An Invivo Wines advertisement showcases its irreverent brand.

Invivo founders Tim Lightbourne and Dan Cameron with comedian Graham Norton.

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Invivo wines - the company behind celebrity wine Graham Norton sauvignon blanc - is set to take on the United States in the New Year.

Co-founder Tim Lightbourne​ said that after a few years of searching, the company has signed a nationwide distribution agreement with United States firm Seaview Imports to distribute Invivo wines in February.

The first shipment is on its way already.

The US has taken over from Australia and the United Kingdom as the number one market for Kiwi wines, with 2016 export there worth $461 million in the year to June, according to NZ Wines annual report.

"We are extremely pleased to team up with Seaview Imports. Their affinity for high quality wines and their entrepreneurial approach to marketing are an ideal fit for Invivo's philosophy of brand building," Lightbourne said.

Seaview returned the compliment with its president James Galtieri​ saying: "Seaview is very excited to capture this "tiger by the tail". Invivo's meteoric rise to success in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom will assuredly be duplicated here in the United States. The quality, the packaging and unparalleled value that Invivo delivers combines for a winning formula for success."  

US brand ambassadors will be announced in February, Lightbourne said. He and co founder Rob Cameron will also head to the US to launch the range and take part in roadshows.

"It's a super exciting time. We are going to push the US, but we realise its not going to be easy. Basically we'll be hitting the road and telling our story man, many times. We are staring conservatively sending 60-100,000 bottles there this year and we'll work from there," Lightbourne said.

Invivo launched its Graham Norton brand in 2014 with a few thousand bottles. This year it has a target of 1.5 million bottles.

Earlier this year, the brand teamed up with TV and radio host Paul Henry to produce a Pinot Noir that proved so popular some shops sold out within hours.

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- Stuff

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