Pernod aims to be world’s biggest in ‘premium’ wine

Pernod Ricard has unveiled a new name for its priority wine brands which is designed to reflect the company’s ambitious vinous plans.

Jean-Christophe Coutures

Chairman of Pernod’s wine division Jean-Christophe Coutures

Formerly called Premium Wine Brands, the multi-national’s wine portfolio now comes under the banner Pernod Ricard Winemakers, with the strapline “Leading Wine Innovation”.

In an interview with the drinks business yesterday, chairman of Pernod’s wine division Jean-Christophe Coutures said that the introduction of “Pernod Ricard” to the corporate identity of its wine portfolio was important, and demonstrated “the group’s continued commitment to its wine interests”.

Meanwhile, the adoption of the word “winemakers” he described as “a statement about who we are and what we want to do,” adding, “It means a lot in terms of quality and craftsmanship.”

When asked about the company’s aim for its wine division, Coutures told db, “Our ambition is to be the leading premium wine company in the world, which is consistend with the vision of Pernod Ricard to be the leader in the world of wines and spirits.”

Pernod wine division logo

Pernod’s new name for its wine division

Although the Pernod wine division has been slimmed down in the last few years, particularly since the £4.48 billion Absolut vodka acquisition in March 2008, Coutures admitted that the company would like to expand its vinous business.

“In the past we had too many brands in some origins and we could not take care of them all in the right way so we decided to offload some,” he said.

“But our view now is probably to expand in some new regions; why not buy new brands, or create them in some origins?” he continued.

Coutures also said that it was Pernod’s aim to expand wine sales into new and emerging wine consuming countries.

“Emerging markets are a key area, because wine is growing and we have the right route to market given our link to Pernod,” he explained, stressing the “long term” potential in China as well as the immediate opportunities in Russia, Poland and India.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers is used to represent Pernod’s six priority wine brands, Australia’s Jacob’s Creek, New Zealand’s Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh; Spain’s Campo Viejo; Argentina’s Graffigna, and China’s Helan Mountain, which the company took full ownership of last year.

Coutures told db these six labels represent 75% of Pernod Ricard’s total wine division, and that the company’s total wine business was “around 10%” of the group’s net sales.

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