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Ornellaia and Masseto to open office in Bordeaux

Top Tuscan estates Ornellaia and Masseto, along with Tenuta Luce and Castelgiocondo, are to set up an office in Bordeaux in an attempt to work more closely with the city’s négociants – the drinks business is the first to report.

La Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux, France

The Italian fine wines, which are grouped under The Frescobaldi Group, are to gain the new space in “the first quarter of 2022”, according to CEO of the holding company, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja.

Speaking exclusively to the drinks business, he said that the decision to move to the French city was motivated by a desire to be both “nearer our négociants”, referring to the businesses who manage the global distribution for the four estates of The Frescobaldi Group, which is majority owned by the Marchesi Frescobaldi – who founded the group in 2006 – with the remaining shareholding held by the SPI Group and Michael Mondavi.

Masseto, in 2009, was the first Italian wine to be distributed through La Place de Bordeaux, with Ornellaia following suit six years later in 2015.

In the wake of their success, in 2019 Tenuta Luce and in 2021 Castelgiocondo Brunello also joined the international distribution network of La Place de Bordeaux, with Geddes noting that each estate has 15 different négociants to manage the wines’ global dissemination.

Of all the regions where the Bordeaux distribution system is effective, he said that it was most powerful in Asia, and within that area, Mainland China in particular.

Geddes told db that the impending Bordeaux office – which sees The Frescobaldi Group’s Patrick Lachapèle move from Hong Kong to his native home of France – will benefit the Italian wine estates in two key ways.

Firstly, he said that it will help the group understand “what we can do better”, and secondly, “we can push the négoce to be more aggressive in their distribution”.

Having said that, he added that the volumes of the wines were limited, telling db that even before the move to Bordeaux, this year’s supply of bottles from the group have already been sold.

“We have no inventory around the world, and we will be out of stock for 2-3 months, even in Europe,” he recorded, adding, “Fine wines are in great demand, and not just in Asia, but all over North America and Europe.”

Lachapèle who takes on the role of director of the Bordeaux office, has spent 16 years in Asia where he worked as Asia Pacific export manager, firstly for Château Mouton Rothschild and then for Ornellaia and Tenuta Luce.

Lachapèle will work alongside the commercial directors of the four estates, which will remain individually managed.

The new office will be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

Masseto wines are available to all markets through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Italy, United States and Canada where Masseto retains direct distribution.

Ornellaia wines are available as well through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Europe, United States and Canada. In the case of Tenuta Luce, La Place de Bordeaux holds the distribution in Asia (with the exception of Japan), Africa and Middle East, while Castelgiocondo is available with the négociants in China only.

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