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GCF launches premium tier Famille Helfrich-Signature Range

Les Grands Chais de France (GCF) has launched a ‘Signature’ range comprising a selection its most prestigious French estates and vineyards that is designed to help its customers better navigate the range, as it also expands its international portfolio.

Chateau Belles Eaux was acquired by Les Grands Chais de France in 2016

The Famille Helfrich Signature Range, which is named after the family who owns the group. comprises 22 of its most prestigious French estates and 2 maisons in its French portfolio, including 11 estates from Bordeaux, three from Bourgogne, two from the Loire, five from Languedoc/Sud Ouest and one from Jura.

“There rare wines from prestigious appellations… are the  most loyal expressions of the passion we want to share,” the group said.

The range includes wines from Bordeaux Supérieur’s Château Timberlay, Clos Beauregard in Pomerol, Château Bastour Lamongtagne in Sauternes, Château des Feles in Anjoy,  Chateau Belles Eaux, Domaine du Joncas in Terrases du Larzac in the Languedoc, Maison Klipfel in Alsace, and Burgundy’s Domaine Michaut, Domaine Marguerite Carillon and Maison Chartron & Trebuchet.

Marks Kears told the drinks business that The Signature Range would become the company’s “icons” that GCF would amplify to the trade.

However, although France is still at the core of the business, and makes up a significant part of its business – “We have a 27-28% share of all French exports to the UK so its super significant in that regard,” he explained – the business  is also building its portfolio of international wine to complement this core offer.

Last month the company added premium wine estate Neethlingshoff in South Africa’s Stellenbosch region, marking a step in the company’s “international quest” and long-term vision for the business, Kears said.

“The fit was impeccable and the timing was good from our point of view,” he explained.

Other recent acquisition include Chilean winery Vina del Nuevo Mundo, which comprises over 150 hectares of wines in Apalta and Leyda, and its Las Ninas brand from DO Colchagua; as well as additional vineyards in Leyda as “s complimentary acquisition”.

The international expansion was about finding complementary businesses and “laying LGCF’s established template” of capabilities in viticulture and vinification and investing in them. “That is going to be a big part of the future, it’s a really, really dynamic topic,” he said.

He noted that the family run business invested back into the business and was therefore able to rise about the “short term windows” dictated by economic challenges. “From our point of view, we can manage that longer term plan as opposed to any sort of economic disruption,” he said.

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