Bristol winemaker awarded Aldi contract in Channel 4 show

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Their winning Wine Spritzers will land on Aldi shelves from today (April 17).

Local “Allotment” Winemaker James Bayliss-Smith of Narnia’s Vineyard was crowned co-winner of last night’s (April 16) Channel 4's Aldi's Next Big Thing, where contestants competed for their product to appear as a Specialbuy in over 1,000 Aldi stores.

The products were presented to Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, who deliberated on factors such as price, packaging, shopper demand, and the ability to scale up, before shortlisting contestants down to just two.

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After she wasn’t able to choose between the two final products in last night’s Party episode, both Razan Alsous and Rahid Sadouk of Yorkshire Dama Cheese with their Hello-Mi Rolls (a Syrian-style cheese made using British cow and goat milk) and James were crowned winners.

James Bayliss-Smith. Copyright: Clarion CommunicationsJames Bayliss-Smith. Copyright: Clarion Communications
James Bayliss-Smith. Copyright: Clarion Communications | Clarion Communications

James secured a listing for his artisanal English wine spritzers, with variants made just for Aldi.

His improved Yuzu and Elderflower and Raspberry and Pomegranate spritzers will be available in Aldi stores from today (April 17) for £1.99 until the supply is gone.

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, commented: "It's an excellent product, and I know it's going to sell. James has drawn everything together to give us a spritz that's going to look wonderful on Aldi’s shelves.”

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Nania's Wine Spritz. Credit: Clarion CommunicationsNania's Wine Spritz. Credit: Clarion Communications
Nania's Wine Spritz. Credit: Clarion Communications | Clarion Communications

James shared: “I’m so happy! Who would have thought I would go from making wine in my allotment vineyard to having my product on sale in Aldi.”

The six-part series, which started airing on April 2, is hosted by Anita Rani from Countryfile and BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Chris Bavin from BBC's The One Show and Eat Well for Less. Episodes air every Tuesday at 8pm until May 7.

Competing against the winners in last night’s episode, which focused on the Party category, was a unique black pudding jam, an adult twist on dessert sauces, plant-based deli meat and an authentic Filipino bao bun.

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