Monthly Archives February 2020

Duckhorn consolidates the UK distribution of its wine brands

California winemaker Duckhorn has signed an exclusive UK distribution agreement with Top Selection, saying “now is the time” to consolidate.

The distributor – who has worked with the Duckhorn’s Calera wine brand for several years – will now be solely responsible for the distribution of its UK wine portfolio, including brands such as Decoy, Goldeneye and Migration which were previously imported by The Wine Treasury.

Duckhorn’s portfolio includes wines from Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast of California as well as Washington State.

Brian Bostwick, Duckhorn Export Director, said: “We believe the time has come to consolidate our UK distribution. Duckhorn has ambitious plans for the UK market, in particular growth across the full range of premium on-trade and off-trade products. Selection has a proven presence in these channels and the team has impressed us with the work they have done with Calera. “

Top Selection President Ákos Forczek added: “Interest and appreciation for premium Californian wines in the UK market is on the rise. We look forward to working with Brian and the Duckhorn team to grow the brands’ sales in the UK.

The range will be available to order from Top Selection from March 1 and will be on display at the Essential California London tasting on March 12.

February 26, 2020 – Bethany Whymark


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The most popular wine brands in the world

Thousands of wine labels are sold around the world, but some are more ubiquitous than others.

When it comes to travel, there are two basic types of tourists – some people like to try new and exotic things abroad, while others eagerly seek the heartwarming familiarity of McDonald’s.

Wine is a bit like that too.

While some people like to experiment a bit with their wine choices, step out of their comfort zone and open up to new experiences, others prefer the safety and reliability of their favorite brands, and finding them overseas can be. be the equivalent of a warm hug from home.

And despite exhortations from the wine “intelligentsia” to get rid of our cultural shackles and enjoy more varied wines and wine styles (or at least the styles of wine they need to make this week), there really is nothing wrong with sticking with what you are sure you will enjoy. Wine producers all over the world know this too, which is another reason why so many brands are available around the world.

And that got us thinking: which wines and which brands of wine are killing it in terms of market penetration? What wines do retailers want to stock and in many cases feel they need to stock? So we thought to see which wine producers have the most offers on Wine-Searcher.

Let’s first see what we mean by “offer”. On Wine-Searcher, an offer is when a specific vintage of a specific wine from a specific producer is offered for sale by a specific retailer. For example, Mouton Rothschild will have the number of offers it has because different vintages of the wine are available from various retailers. Likewise, a brand like Penfolds will have multiple vintages available – 33 in the Bin series alone – across multiple vintages and multiple retailers, while a producer like Petrus only produces one wine, which means Penfolds will always have more. offers.

Thus, the list of the most ubiquitous wines in the world is mostly made up of brands rather than single wines.

Most proposed wine producers on Wine-Searcher:

There are a few surprises on the list. No room for big brands like Penfolds, Robert Mondavi, Torres or Concha y Toro. Big names like Moët, Sassicaia and Opus One don’t mean either; instead, it’s the triumph of the familiar, the reliable, and – let’s be honest here – those who can afford a global marketing push.

Weight of numbers

Barefoot is by far the most popular wine brand in the world. Wine-Searcher has over 36,000 offers listed among the brand’s 74 available products, although it should be noted that not all of these products are necessarily what everyone would call wine – Bubbly Peach Fusion is not listed on too many master sommelier exams, for example. Although it is owned by the United States (by Gallo), it also produces wines from Italy and South Africa, which adds to its global appeal.

Producer and merchant Louis Jadot won his second place by the weight of the figures; with 363 cuvées listed, the company’s complete coverage of the different climates of Burgundy gives it a huge head start even over the big producers.

Yellow Tail, third, and Gaja, fifth, are an interesting comparison. Both have Italian roots – the Casella family from Yellow Tail arrived in Australia as immigrants in 1957 and their son John built the brand from a small family business to the global giant it is today. By comparison, the Gaja family are Italian wine royalty, producing some of Piedmont’s most acclaimed wines. Nonetheless, Yellow Tail has over 1000 more deals than the aristocratic Gaja stable.

The other American entries on the list also offer a pretty striking comparison. Beringer, California’s oldest operating winery, has 175 cuvées listed, with an average price ranging from $ 3 to $ 158. Sutter Home, meanwhile, only offers 39 products (although its owners own several other brands as well), with an average price range of $ 4- $ 43, but it only has 1,700 deals less.

What is quite astonishing, however, is the presence of three individual wines, especially when you consider what they are. Mouton – and its two perennial rivals in the most sought-after wine lists, Lafite and Margaux – are among the top 10 most popular brands, despite having only one cuvée to work on. Having lots of vintages available helps; Mouton has 120, Lafite 133 and Margaux 105. But really, with respective offerings of over 19,000, 17,500 and 17,200, you could really think twice about the alleged “rarity” of these wines.

But these are really brands, and there are some wine numbers that really need to be put into perspective. If we looked at a list of the top 10 producers ranked by offerings on Wine-Searcher, five of them would be spirits. While Barefoot would still be at the top of the tree, the next four spots would be taken by Smirnoff, Jack Daniel’s, Bacardi and Johnnie Walker, while Absolut would slip between Jadot and Yellow Tail.

No matter how familiar the brands of wine may be, they are positively exotic to the spirits available around the world.

May this state of affairs last a long time.


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The Bordeaux Wine Museum announces its expansion in Beijing

Bordeaux Wine Museum Cité du Vin is teaming up with the city of Beijing to build a 194,000 square foot wine museum in China. The new museum, inspired by the Cité du Vin, will be located 40 kilometers southwest of the city center of the Chinese capital and is expected to open in 2021. The planned construction cost is $ 66.5 million.

“Wine is part of our world heritage,” said Sylvie Cazes, president of the Foundation for Wine Cultures and Civilizations, which manages the Bordeaux museum. “Our mission is to share this great story with Chinese visitors.”

The contemporary design of the new museum echoes a Cubist interpretation of the Saint-Emilion skyline and will be located in the heart of Zhong Pu Hui wine village, a development in Beijing’s Fangshan district. This region is already rich in culture, home to Shidu Natural Park, Yunju Temple and the site where the “Peking Man” homo erectus fossils have been discovered.

Weixang Tang, 62, a Chinese businessman who made his fortune through duty-free shopping on board, led the effort to build the museum. President and founder of Zhong Pu Hui wine village, Tang was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2015 for his long-standing commitment to French culture. “China and France share a special affection for gastronomy and the friendliness that goes with it,” Tang said. He believes that the cultural and gastronomic richness of wine attracts Chinese consumers looking for new experiences and knowledge.

The village currently includes several hectares of vines. Tang has a building permit for 3 square miles of development, including two hotels, lodges, a farm, restaurants, bars and shops, as well as a free trade zone for Chinese and foreign companies engaged in the wine, organic farming and, more generally, energy transition. There will also be a startup hub for entrepreneurs.

Tang started the museum project, but the Chinese government supported the project and is now the sole funder. The 72,000 square foot permanent exhibit, an immersive experience, will build on what the team learned in Bordeaux, but with additions specifically designed for Chinese visitors. Guests can visit five areas: What is wine ?, Wine in the world, History and civilization of wine, Wine and the senses and Lifestyle and wine, which includes information on how to buy and drink wine, all complemented by a quiz and tasting. .

“I think this project is great because it was promoted by someone with whom we have a great relationship and who has a real dual culture. He has one foot in China and one foot in Paris,” said Cazes.


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Tang’s ties to French culture go back to his childhood during the Cultural Revolution. Her family was separated and banished to the countryside for work. Tang’s mother wanted him to study and found a French teacher. Years later, he spent a year studying French at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Tang’s appreciation for French wine inspired him two decades ago to plant the first vineyard in Fangshan. Today, Château Bolongbao, with 173 hectares of vines at the foot of the Wulanshan mountains, produces 11,700 cases per year, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. Since Tang’s pioneering investment, more than 30 neighboring vineyards have grown. And the area is connected to downtown Beijing by metro, train, and highways, an easy commute for tourists and entrepreneurs.

“We are at the start of a very long history. In my opinion, wine in China will be very important,” said Jean-Marc Menant, general manager of the wine village.


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