C&C to launch Italian cider exclusively in UK on-trade

cidro montanoC&C Group has unveiled a new Italian craft cider, Montano, that is to be launched exclusively into the UK on-trade in January.

The new addition to C&C’s Shepton Mallet Cider Mill portfolio will roll out to a number of exclusive and premium bars across the UK in 2014.

C&C believes there is a “huge opportunity” for the growing trend in international ciders on the back of continuing growth in the cider market in the UK and the influx of younger adult drinkers seeking new and more interesting brands.

The cider is made from apples handpicked from the Dolomites mountains in Trentino, the highest mountains in Europe, creating an elegantly sparkling, fruit-driven, medium-dry cider with a refreshing, crisp finish. It contains no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.

It has a wine-like bouquet complemented by an effervescent citrus aroma that balances the delicate and refined flavour, allowing it to be enjoyed alone or with most light food dishes.

Marketing manager Andrew Cross said: “With such an exclusive product, the focus is on seeding Montano in premium bars and restaurants.

“To support this on-trade launch, Montano will be available in a very sophisticated 660ml bottle for a true Italian style of sharing, and a stylish single-serve 300ml bottle.”

To further drive awareness and engagement in venue, C&C has developed a collection of premium in-outlet support materials including Italian-inspired glassware. It is also rolling out a programme of staff training, education and consumer sampling.

“With such a great story to tell, the key is bringing Montano to life not just for consumers but also for our customers and bar staff,” Andrew added.

“Cider used to be seen as a very traditional, English drink. However, the landscape of cider has changed significantly in the past decade.

“Although Britain still drinks more cider than the rest of the world combined, there are emerging overseas markets and these markets are introducing their ciders to the UK with great success.”

The UK launch was held at the Italian Embassy in London – the first time it has opened its doors to host the commercial presentation of an alcoholic drink.

Italian ambassador Pasquale Terracciano said: “We are keen to champion Italian products in the UK and Montano is a great demonstration of what can be achieved when Italy and the UK work in partnership, so we were delighted to host this exciting new launch.”

Leading chef Giancarlo Caldesi, who attended the launch, said: “Not only does Montano look great but it tastes fantastic and I am already thinking of foods that would complement its delicate flavour.”

Paolo Mortarotti, managing director of The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill, said: “We knew that these delicious crisp apples would create an unparalleled cider for even the most discerning of consumers.

“First we had to convince local apple growers and wine makers Mezzacorona to forego some of their prize crop so they could press the first batch of cider, but once they did the results surpassed all expectations, and they gladly opened their orchard gardens for the production of cider for the first time in their history.”

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