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Bordeaux shakes up its ‘image and offering’ with new interactive campaign

Next month’s immersive Bordeaux Experience trade tasting in London is set to challenge the clichéd perception of Bordeaux and show the diversity and vivacity of its wines. db talks to Caroline Vigneron, marketing manager for Europe of the Conseil Interprofessionnel Du Vin De Bordeaux (CIVB) to find out more.

Bordeaux is known all over the world for its wines – it is a region bursting with history and tradition, but as CIVB’s marketing manager for Europe, Caroline Vigneron, points out, the immersive Bordeaux Experience event in London next month is more about showing people “who we are today”.

A day-long extravaganza of wine, food, informal talks and opportunities to connect with today’s wine producers in Bordeaux, the event on Wednesday 1 May at Market Halls near London’s Bond Street, will challenge people’s perceptions of Bordeaux in a fun and unexpecting setting, while encouraging them to immerse themselves into all that our region offers, she explains.

“We are familiar with the perception a lot of people have about Bordeaux,” Vigneron says. “Some may think that we are old-fashioned, steeped in our ways, or that Bordeaux should be saved for special occasions such as big celebrations or dinners, but that’s not what our wines are all about. We have wines for every moment, whether that’s a refreshing white wine to share with friends with nibbles after work, a rosé to serve at a BBQ or a sweet wine enjoyed in a cocktail in a bar.”

As such, there is a big opportunity for Bordeaux to recruit new wine drinkers to its fan base, regardless of their budgets and tastes. The event will capitalise on this opportunity, with over 100 wines on pour, encompassing everything from dry whites, refreshing rosés, modern and classic reds, clairets, crémants and sweet wines – some of which are already in the UK, others seeking representation.

Caroline Vigneron, marketing manager for Europe of the CIVB

Engaging tastings and educational sessions will transport the visitor to the heart of Bordeaux – for example, test your palate at The Casino Table or taste single varietals at Bordeaux in a Shot, under the guidance of Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux tutors, or learn about developments in Bordeaux at informal winemaker-led seminars which will cover topics such as Rising to the challenge of climate change and Refreshing wines for modern times.

“Where better place to showcase Bordeaux and its wines than in the UK’s cosmopolitan and trend-setting capital city?” she asks. “It’s going to be a really inspiring day and we hope that everyone will leave with a long-lasting, refreshed impression and understanding of Bordeaux as it is today.”

In addition, winemakers and agents will be on hand to share their own experiences and anecdotes, allowing independent wine merchants, seasoned sommeliers, agents and consumers to connect with the people behind the wines and hear the region’s stories straight from the winemakers and négociants themselves.

“Our winegrowers have diverse backgrounds – some are fourth generation, others are career-changers, others are completely new to winemaking, some have worked in wineries around the world. This means that there are lots of different perspectives, new techniques and ideas at play,” she explains.

Sharing this passion for winemaking and presenting the region and its wine in a fresh light will leave visitors with a revitalised impression of Bordeaux, laying the groundwork for a more dynamic and continuous relationship with the UK market, Vigneron explains.

The UK is the Bordeaux’s third largest market for Bordeaux, with a turnover that rose 3% in 2023 to €310 million – however, like all mature markets, demand for red wines is in decline. However, because Bordeaux produces significant volumes of white wine, and is the home of Sauvignon Blanc, the CIVB has big ambitions and a strong focus on its white and sparkling wines such as Crémant de Bordeaux, as well as for its rosés and crémants.

“We do it all, at every price point, for every occasion,” she says. “Crisp easy drinking white? No problem! Iconic smooth rich red for a special occasion – no problem. We want to welcome everyone back to Bordeaux and for them to see it as a credible and exciting substitute to their current favourites.”

New marketing campaign

The event marks the first live event of the CIVB’s new global marketing campaign, ‘Join the Bordeaux Crew’ (#JointheBDXCrew), a key part of its commitment to “shake up our image and our offering” and highlight the people behind the wine.

“Bordeaux is in constant flux. Our wines are all about unexpected encounters, exciting conversations and new opportunities. We are multi-faceted. We are creative and discerning,” she explains. “Showing the true Bordeaux in authentic way is the most important part of our messaging. We want to break down barriers and make Bordeaux wines more accessible, relatable, and appealing to a diverse audience of wine enthusiasts around the world and make each person that comes across our wines a true ambassador, part of the Bordeaux Crew.”

The campaign therefore features people from all parts of the Bordeaux wine community – winegrowers and merchants, wine shop managers, chefs and barmen, who have been chosen to reflect the region’s renewed energy.

The platform gives those who work in the Bordeaux wine industry “a loud shared voice”, she says, to build a bridge and “bring us closer to the public.”

“It will help to shine a light on our exceptional men and women, their commitment to sustainability, the terroirs and of course their wines,” she said. “We want to share their stories and get people excited about what’s going on in Bordeaux.”

Tag and follow the campaign on #JointheBDXCrew on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or LinkedIn.

Key Information

  • Where: Wednesday 1 May 2024 10:30 – 17.30 (UK trade and press session), 18: 30 – 21.30 (UK general public)
  • When: Market Halls (Oxford Circus), 9 Holles Street, London, W1G0BD. Closest underground: Bond Street
  • The Bordeaux Experience is free to members of the UK trade, sign up here:

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