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Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux signs exclusive DTC distribution deal with Crurated

Burgundy’s Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux has signed an exclusive direct-to-consumer distribution deal with fine wine club, Crurated, which aims to ensure that its wines are consumed and enjoyed by more people.   

Burgundy’s Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux has signed an exclusive direct-to-consumer distribution deal with fine wine club, Crurated,

The wine estate, which was founded in 1858 and comprises 14 hectares of vineyards in the prized Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-Saint-Georges communes, is run by Florence Arnoux-Lachaux and her eldest son Charles Lachaux, who last year signed an exclusive distribution deal with Crurated on his own range of micro-négoce wines.

The mother and son team are now bringing the full range of the family’s Burgundy estate, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux wines into the Crurated community, following the success of Lachaux’s venture into DTC, which saw the entire collection sold out within a month.

Crurated was launched in 2021 to connect connoisseurs directly with world-class wine producers, with information and provenance assured through blockchain technology. It means that each bottle of Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux wine sold through the fine wine club will come with an NFT which records it on the blockchain.

These can be accessed by tapping on an NFC or RFID enabled phone, which verifies the authenticity of the bottle and provides details such as vintage, vineyard location, and varietal. The bottle history is also updated via a new blockchain recording anytime the wine is resold and the token moves from one client to another.

Using Crurated enables “verifiable provenance for every single bottle of wine that leaves our Domaine and enters their warehouse,” Charles said, as well as allowing the team to connect with buyers of its wines in a meaningful way through unique events across the world.

“This connection allows us to communicate our winemaking philosophy and creates a stronger connection with wine lovers all over the globe,” he said.

Although Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux wines will be sold directly to consumers exclusively through the Crurated platform, B2B restaurant sales will still be handled by distributors.

‘We produce wines to be consumed’

Lachaux said that one major benefit was that it allowed “everyone… to be happy”.

“The aim of this distribution [model] is to have consumption,” he said. “We don’t produce wine to be kept in a safe way in the museum. We produce wines to be drunk and what we believe in this system is to have consumption in the way we sell the wine.”

He added that the domaine’s wines are sold into the French market more than some of its competitors, with around 40% of its volumes sold in France, compared to 5% to 10% of Burgundian wines more widely.

“We use Crurated as a tool to supply more individuals across the world,” he added.

Lachaux added that the success of the DTC model enabled him invest in the production of his own micro-negoce wine label, however, because it sold out so quickly, the team are doing a slightly more staggered release for the Domaine’s wines to ensure that new members will also be able to buy the wines.

“We don’t want the people joining in December to have nothing to access until next September,” Crurated’s founder Alfonso de Gaetano said. “The aim is to really try to open up the market.”

De Gaetano added the model allowed producers to sell to the end consumer while avoiding the element of speculation that occurred as a result of “multiple steps between producers and the final client”.

As a result, the price they were offering the wines for was roughly 50% what it would be on the open market, he said.

As a result of these factors, the platform has grown steadily and within two years of launching has 2,500 collectors with revenues up to around €15million, an increase of around 150%, “despite in general the market slowing down overall,”  de Gaetano said.

“What clients love is that Crurated is different to other merchants,” he said, pointing out that many demand a minimum spend of £150k before you can get access to “the cherry on the cake”, and that collectors can only buy the wines they want.

“People like Crurated, if they are only wanting to buy Lachaux, they’re not forced to buy anything else,” he said.

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