European wineries unite

24 October, 2014

Nine wineries from across Europe have joined forces to promote the Old World’s heritage through a series of collaborations.

The Founding Wineries of Europe initiative was established by Cécile Bonnefond, chief executive of Piper Heidsieck Champagne. She has recruited established brands from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal to run joint consumer activity.

The collaboration began in Shanghai earlier this year with tastings featuring wines from the four countries under one roof and the group is now hoping to extend the project following its success in Asia.

The member wineries are: Marqués de Riscal, Bodegas Ysios and Campo Viejo from Spain; Italy’s Casa Vinicola Zonin; Sogrape from Portugal; and Piper Heidsieck, Bouchard Père & Fils, Château de Berne and Ampelida from France.

Bonnefond said the group members were all long-established brands and activity would centre on promoting “terroir, legacy and lifestyle”.

She added: “Most [of the wineries] are still owned and run by families who want to transmit their heritage, their secrets and their skills to future generations. “Our wines are not only drinks. They evoke châteaux, architecture, landscapes, and inspire a lifestyle and the dolce vita. Our châteaux were built centuries ago and offer testimonies of our rich history.”

Marqués de Riscal export manager Javier Ybañez Creus said: “Going into things in partnership is always better, you have more strength and budget.

“When I saw Argentina, Chile and South Africa come together [for the Beautiful South tasting], I felt a bit jealous really.

“They are competitors, but they have come together to sell the same product.

“The group is a very good idea. It’s a very clear message for consumers and simple to communicate.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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