Bordeaux is the largest producer of AOC wine in France and represents 2% of the world’s wine production and creates more than 55,000 industry jobs. The region is responsible for 5,800 winegrowers, 300 wine négociants, 72 brokers and 29 cooperatives encompassed within 65 appellations or AOCs (appellation d’origine contrôlée).
Join an open conversation on Bordeaux’s wine trade with Jesse Becker, Master Sommelier and Allan Sichel, proprietor of Maison Sichel — one of the region’s most prominent wine négociants selling in more than 60 countries around the world.
Bordeaux is a foundation for learning how wine is sold around the world. The first exports from the wine region began in 1302 when Saint-Émilion was shipped to England for the pleasure of King Edward I. Later in the 17th century, the Dutch helped establish a négociant wine system that expanded the promotion and exportation of Bordeaux wine.
The system relieved château owners from the business of selling and provided them immediate cash in hand. The “Place de Bordeaux” – and all the courtiers, en primeur, and tranches that go along with it – still exists today, making Bordeaux and the longstanding role of the négociant unique in the world wine trade.
“The ‘Place de Bordeaux’ is a fantastic commercial and distribution tool,” explains Sichel. “Nobody controls it. It’s totally open and liberal. There are no prerequisites to access the Place de Bordeaux.”
They are responsible for tasting the region’s wines, comparing vintages, ensuring quality and selling the finished product on the market — allowing the producers and winemakers to do what they do best.
Watch the webinar: The Inner Working of the Bordeaux Wine Trade to learn more.
This webinar is part of the How the Experts Tackle Bordeaux virtual learning series.