Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Australia’s Estate and Single Vineyard wines – what are the comparisons with Burgundy?

I receive a regular communication from the official Burgundy wine bureau in France. A recent newsletter provided a totally unexpected picture of the knowledge of and reputation of Burgundy in France. With the sole exception of using the word ‘burgundy’ rather than the French ‘bourgogne’, I quote the release verbatim:
‘The last survey conducted in France for the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB) by CSA, shows that Burgundy wines have a very favourable reputation and image. Burgundy wines are graded 7.9/10, representing growth of one tenth of a point compared to the same survey conducted in 2011 with a panel of consumers (men, women, 35 to 65 years old, higher professional categories, buyers and wine consumers).

Burgundy wines have an image of prestige, authenticity, gastronomy, quality, pleasure and
terroir. 98% of consumers agree on the fact that the wines are made using ancestral and traditional expertise. They are also seen as a “real pleasure for the senses” and are a synonym for the “French art of living” (96%).

By comparison, the individual reputation of each
Burgundy appellation is weak.

The complexity of the Burgundy mosaic is not just a myth. On average, 33% of consumers surveyed know one Burgundy appellation. Amongst the most well known (3 consumers out of 5), are Chablis, Pommard, Mâcon, Nuits-St Georges, Bourgogne Aligoté and Côte de Beaune. However, their spontaneous reputation is far below that of Burgundy as a whole.

The “Burgundy” brand well and truly exists.

It seems fundamental to make the appellations benefit from its positive image, given that the region is the main criterion used when buying wine.’

The take home lesson from this is that those in Australia who think subregions are a good marketing idea should think again, and concentrate on putting the emphasis on regions.

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