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Friday 1 August 2014

Thiénot to augment UK presence

8th April, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

The Thiénot group is attempting to increase sales of its Bordeaux and Champagne brands in the UK market with a new subsidiary.

Thienot UK logo

The Thiénot group has over 725 hectares of vineyards, nine Bordeaux properties and sales of over 30 million bottles annually

Called Thienot UK, the operation will officially launch later this month and incorporate the group’s existing Bordeaux subsidiary in London, Dourthe UK, and complement its longstanding importation and distribution business called Champagnes & Chateaux.

Explaining the change, Thiénot UK managing director Christophe Galez said the new subsidiary was designed to simplify Thienot’s presence in the UK as well as develop sales of its brands outside London.

“Champagnes & Chateaux is a supplier to London’s premium on-trade business so we decided to launch Thienot UK to develop the distribution of Thiénot brands in the provinces.”

He said that the new subsidiary’s aim was to build a “network of quality regional wholesalers” for Thiénot brands, and not supply direct to the on-trade outside London.

On the other hand, Champagnes & Chateaux would remain dedicated to serving upmarket restaurants within the M25 and would continue to supply them directly.

He also said that Thienot UK – along with the newly incorporated Dourthe UK – will be placed in the same office in Wandsworth as Champagnes & Chateaux.

Stressing the expanded nature of the Thiénot business since Champagnes & Chateaux was launched in 1989, Galez recorded that until the noughties the Thiénot group comprised Champagne Thiénot and “a few properties in Bordeaux”.

Today however the group is called Thiénot Bordeaux-Champagnes and includes Dourthe, Kressmann and CVBG Grands Crus in Bordeaux as well as Canard-Duchêne and Joseph Perrier in Champagne.

“A lot of people don’t realize Canard-Duchêne, Dourthe and CVBG are all part of the same group, so Thienot UK is also a way of simplifying the message,” he said.

Alain Thiénot, who already owned Bordeaux estates Châteaux Rahoul and Ricard, launched Champagne Thiénot in 1985, making it the youngest house in the region.

In 2003, he acquired Canard-Duchêne from LVMH, and in 2007 he took a majority stake in Bordeaux’s CVBG-Dourthe-Kressman.

Today Thiénot Bordeaux-Champagnes has over 725 hectares of vineyards, nine Bordeaux properties and sales of over 30 million bottles annually.

For more on the group click here to read an interview with Alain’s son Stanislas on the company’s global ambitions.

The Thienot UK subsidiary follows the founding of similar operations in the US and Asia last year.

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