Global brands and wineries
March 11, 2017
What is a global brand in the wine industry, is there any difference between brands and wineries? Wineries are strictly linked to an area, a piece of land, they rely on the weather and their grapes and their brand, their reputation, depend on it. Brands on the other side, are above all of it, brands, are not about the area, brands can change the composition of their wines and the origin of the grapes, and don’t tell us, their only aim is to ensure consistency across vintages and ensure that consumers have the same experience bottle after bottle, year after year. You could say, simplistically, that these wines are made in the winery while wineries make them in the vineyards.
The world is full of wineries, but does the wine industry have any global brand? Which are the Nike or Adidas of the wine industry? My answer is that we don’t have any or yes we do, but in a different way. I am certain many would disagree with me and mention plenty of names, big producers, famous names, but I would not say that these are the Nike and Adidas of the wine industry. When researching for this post, I typed “wine brands” on Google and amongst the other information, I got the list of wine brands in 2016 according to The Drink Business, and of the top 10 wine brands, only 3 were actually brands though not global, all the others were companies owning several brands. The list had been compiled looking at the number of bottle sold and this is not a definition of brand.
Why the wine industry does not have its Nike or Adidas? The answer is simple. The wine industry is a very old and fragmented industry and, currently, there are no players that have the resources to become global brands. Interesting and unique to the wine industry thought, is that there are global brands but not the way we are used to think of them, the brands are not owned by an individual or a company, but owned by the collectivity, brands that benefit every winery or producer in the area or producing a certain wine, Prosecco is the most recent global brand, but Champagne or Bordeaux are on a similar level, these are the Nike or Adidas of the wine industry.
Chateaux Margaux has become what it is thanks to the Bordeaux appellation, and the same applies to all other big names, they are what they are because of the appellation they are in and the value of the appellation is the value of the brand, the moment the appellation loses its value, automatically the wineries will lose theirs. In the new world, the brands, due to their wine making process and relatively young age, are worth less and lie in the country of origin.
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