One of the most interesting pieces of media this week came from an interview with Gary Vaynerchuk, formerly Mr WineLibraryTV and now American social media leader. Gary is a passionate straight talker – he never holds back! And on the subject of wine tasting and assessing consumer value, he is an excellent reference point.

I thought it would be good to use Gary’s quotes direct from Will Lyons’ interview “People focus too much on the top 150 classified growths,” he says of red Bordeaux. “When you start looking at what is happening between $10 and $25 in some of the outer regions, you start realizing these are really, really high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. They won’t sell because nobody has ever heard of them, but when I compare them with Cabernet- [or] Merlot-based wines from California and Australia and other parts of the world, I don’t think there is any comparison. If you talk about Cabernet and Merlot-based value between $10 and $25, I will tell you that Bordeaux is the best value in the world.”

Wow, what a quote and how very true! Doesn’t that quite simply define the issue for good value for money producers in Bordeaux? Let us pull out the key lines again..

  1. I tell you Bordeaux …(has) really high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends … the best value in the world
  2. They won’t sell because nobody has ever heard of them…

Once you have a problem well defined, only then you can get to work to really solve it! With love and good care in the vineyard, Bordeaux will naturally make very good wine. Our 2010 Paradise Rescued #Cloud9 #CabFranc has clearly demonstrated that with the first vintage. The key therefore for all of us who sit outside the 150 classified top growths is how to build a brand and an individual name for ourselves such that our customers can recognise who we are and what we stand for. Success therefore lies in how we market our wonderful wines.

Over the last two weeks, I had the pleasure to dine (spoilt!) in a couple of excellent class restaurants in Melbourne. And I have started to see a trend emerging. Melbourne has a strong reputation world wide as a great food centre. Increasingly, as I visit restaurants and discuss their business with their owners, I see the owners looking to not only create a difference with the excellence of their food but also trying to bring in different wines. They are seeking out wines with a story, smaller wineries, boutique style production and something different they can promote to their customers to create a special event. This is heaven sent news for small Bordeaux Supérieur producers like ourselves. With what will be a low cost base in the Euro (non Euro?) zone for the foreseeable future, the opportunity to export is huge and the market really wants our wines. On Friday night at “A la Bouffe” restaurant in South Yarra, there were at least six different level petits Bordeaux available. The food I should add was exquisite!

This blog will be the last in the “old” format as we complete the integration into our web site. I have seen the draft results – this will be great step forward for our website and brand. Next week when you read this blog – thank you for your loyal support – it will be part of the website format and looking superb. And you will be just one click away from all the other information.

On Monday night, we will give our first marketing presentation to a small group of manufacturing leaders here in Melbourne. A central theme will be our Mission, Vision and Values and the role they play in developing a successful business and brand! I never thought I would hear the engineer in me say it, but it’s marketing, marketing, marketing….