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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Black Tower targets comeback
Black Tower bottles
The distinctive bottle remains
Black Tower, the German white wine that became a 70s icon, is to be given a facelift in a bid to win over younger drinkers.

The sweet wine, with its distinctive earthenware bottle, was never a favourite of connoisseurs, but was one of the UK's best-selling wines in its 1970s and 80s heyday.


Young drinkers are approaching the brand without any negative baggage

Steve Holt, Black Tower distributor
In recent years its sales suffered as UK consumers tastes changed and New World wines began to dominate the market.

Now Reh Kendermann, which owns the brand, plans to update the wine's image and introduce two new varieties in an effort to win over a new generation of drinkers.

Drink without prejudice

The firm is spending 1m on an advertising and marketing campaign aimed at younger drinkers.

Steve Holt, of Black Tower's distributor Grants of St James, said; "Young drinkers are approaching the brand without any negative baggage and they're willing to try the new wines without prejudice."

The new Black Tower, in a redesigned black bottle, will appear in shops in June, along with the two new varieties using the Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes.

Black Tower's owners said the wine remained popular with a loyal following, and was still the number one exported wine from Germany and the 18th best-seller in the UK.

The German Wine Institute launched a campaign last year to improve the image of its wines abroad.

Nearly half of all exported German wine comes to the UK, mostly cheaper sweet whites.

Blue Nun, another iconic German wine held in a similarly dim light by wine critics, was relaunched in the UK in 1997.

See also:

19 Jun 01 | Europe
EU faces bulbous bottle battle
21 Jun 01 | Business
New world wins the wine war
23 Dec 97 | Business
The re-birth of plonk
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