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Bordeaux ramps up focus on younger consumers with white wines

Published:  13 August, 2014

The president of a Bordeaux wine body wants to open up younger UK wine consumers to the region's white wines.

Hervé Grandeau, president of the syndicate of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur, told that Bordeaux's white wines were "a little bit forgotten", and that he planned to change this with a new campaign.

"Our image is sometimes a little bit old-fashioned and expensive, and I'm sure that's not the truth," Grandeau said.

Bordeaux BlancBordeaux looks to up its appeal to younger consumers in the UKA new campaign will target younger consumers with teh 'freshness' of the region's 'little bit forgotten' white wines.

He said the Sauvignon Blanc blends from the region were very "fresh" and not expensive, often coming in at between £3.99 and £5.99. "It's good value for money," Grandeau said, adding that the wine's easy drinking quality and match for seafood meant it would appeal to UK consumers.

"The quality of the wine is better and better each year, and we thought the time was right for this new campaign. We are very confident about our wine."

He said that sales of Bordeaux wine to the UK were on the up this year - up 5-6% - after a decline. Existing Bordeaux drinkers don't necessarily consider the region's whites, which is why it is targeting a new market - younger consumers - with this campaign. "First we have to give them a new image - for a long time Bordeaux was mainly red, Grand Cru Classé and expensive. We need to change to something strong, and give a new vision, for the white wines."

The UK is the third most important export market for Bordeaux wines in terms of volume, accounting for 8% of total exports around 115,200 hl in 2013.  

Younger UK consumers like crisp, clean, citrus style wines and the aim is to demonstrate that Bordeaux Blanc can be like this too. Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular UK variety in the UK, and makes up 85% of a typical Bordeaux Blanc. Making that association with consumers will help make wines relevant to a new segment of the market, the body hopes.

As part of the campaign the body will host two events in September at independent merchant Vagabond in London's Charlotte Street on September 2, with Jane Parkinson and up-and-coming "pop up" celebrity chef, Nicos Popupalot. These two will show Bordeaux as "contemporary and accessible", and pair the wines with streetfood.

A second event will take place on September 29 at London's Hospitality Guild.

The group hopes to raise awareness of Bordeaux's white wines, particularly in the on-trade.