A passion for all types of wine
Through its 300 companies or “Wine Trade firms” dotted all over the Gironde, the Wine Trade network sells approximately 70% of Bordeaux’s production in 170 different countries. Each wine merchant can have his own specificities and sell various products ranging from a complete array of wines and spirits to more selective choices: Great Growth wines, château wines, brand wines…
Firms specialized in sales of Great Growth wines
Great growths are exceptional wines whose rank is established by certain classifications and whose name enjoys great renown throughout the world.
Some Wine Trade firms are specialized in this type of market that concerns Bordeaux’s finest classified Great Growths listed in these prestigious classifications: that of 1855 for the Great Growths of Médoc and Sauternes-Barsac, and the classification drawn up more recently, in the 1950s, for Graves and Saint-Emilion wines (it is updated every 10 years). This is an extremely important market for developing the image and renown of Bordeaux wines worldwide. Although they represent just 4% of total volumes of Bordeaux wines, their percentage in value is naturally significantly higher, at 20%. In Bordeaux, the term “primeur”, or future, indicates a particular sales method for Great Growth wines: an immediate sale with deferred delivery, in general 2 years later, once the wine has been fully matured at the estate.
Wine merchants who select and distribute château wines
“Château wines” are those grown on a specific terroir; they come from an individual and strictly delimited property that bears the name of a château. Given the multitude of châteaux that exist in the Bordeaux region (approximately 10 000), some Wine Trade firms have specialized in supplying the market for these Bordeaux wines that can be described as “middle-of-the- range”. Most of these wines are “estate bottled” by the winegrower, but also quite frequently by the merchant who brings his own technology to carry out the bottling procedure “at the estate”. 80% of these wines are sold by Wine Trade firms. The distribution of a château wine can be entrusted to one or several wine merchants.
The wine merchant-maturer of brand wines
A brand wine is made, bottled and packaged by the wine merchant who marks his name and his own “brand” on the label. A brand wine represents the same elements for the wine merchant as the château for the winegrower: the expression of his own personal and specific production. It corresponds to the traditional activity of the Wine Trade. Having purchased wines in bulk, the wine merchants proceeds with their blending and maturation in vats or in oak barrels before bottling them. These are firms that develop strategies for “brand wines” whose aim is to develop customer loyalty by ensuring huge availability of stocks of wines to which the merchant has committed his name to ensure consistency both in quality of the products and stability of their price. As well as Bordeaux wines, some Wine Trade firms also sell other AOCs (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), Vins de Pays or wines without geographical indication and sometimes even foreign wines, so that they can satisfy the demands of a wine market where it is often a case of initially catching consumers’ interest for wines and tastes with which they are familiar or seeking, and subsequently leading them towards appreciating characteristics that are specific to Bordeaux’s fine wines.