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Winemaking and Wine Marketing in a Plague Year

May 8, 2020

Stephen Tanzer of Vinous recently published an interesting article collating a number of winemaker interviews that are appropriately focused the effects of the current crisis on their world and business. Philippe Guigal is one of the featured vintners in the curation and provides valuable insight into reactions of both the French and United States market. Read his full statement below:

“The French market, which is important for us (55% of our business), has completely stopped because of the closing of restaurants. And if wine consumption at home has grown in France like it has everywhere else in the world, French consumers are not buying much wine at retail. This is largely because the French tend to have cellars, and they are simply emptying their stocks. This situation is very different from the U.S., Canada or northern Europe, where consumers usually buy wine to drink it soon. Therefore, we are expecting a strong move from French consumers to refill their cellars after the pandemic, but right now 95% of our activity is oriented towards export markets with significant growth and excellent figures.

In order to ensure the preparation of the orders and keep enough sanitary distance between our workers, we have adopted many measures at the winery. First of all, we are totally closed to the public and we welcome truck drivers only in specific zones of our buildings. The minimum distance of one meter between people has been easy to maintain as we are fortunate to work in large facilities. One hundred percent of our workers are safe and in good health.

In the vineyards, we are worried about the lack of water and the precocity of the vintage, but our vignerons in the Rhône Valley truly enjoy working outside and feel very ‘free’ during their working hours. Being a vintner in Côte-Rôtie has become a true privilege.

To read more about winemakers’ responses around the world, read the full article HERE.

Related Producers

    E. Guigal

    Rhône Valley, France

    The more you learn about the Guigal family, the more astounding becomes their story.  Their wines are the benchmarks for every Rhone appellation, and over the last thirty years they have become arguably the most lauded producer in the world.  Year after year the Guigal family produces wines of exceptional quality that in all classes offer exceptional value.