Beaujolais campaign seeks to improve quality message


Beaujolais winemakers have teamed up with French export agency UbiFrance for a three-year marketing campaign designed to improve their wines’ quality image among consumers.

Image: Beaujolais masterclass at TopWine China 2014 in Beijing

Beaujolais exports more than doubled in China between 2009 and 2013, but a significant driver of this increase was Beaujolais Nouveau, the young wine from the most recent vintage released globally on the third Thursday in November. Figures published in a infographic show that China was the seventh largest world market for Beaujolais Nouveau in 2013, only just behind the UK and Netherlands.

The new Beaujolais marketing campaign, which started in 2014, is designed to help consumers and distributors to understand the wider range of wines available.

‘The main purpose of this campaign is to train the professionals of the wine sectors and the journalists,’ Hugo Le Bail, project manager at UbiFrance China told ‘The goals are to enhance the knowledge of the complete range of Beaujolais Crus.’

This year’s events included participation at important wine fairs such as TopWine China in Beijing and ProWine China in Shanghai, and masterclasses in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan. Around 400 Chinese wine professionals have participated in the training project in 2014, as part of the campaign.

‘We first introduced 2 containers (24,000 bottles) of Beaujolais Nouveau into China in 2010. In 2011, we imported 10 (120,000 bottles). Now almost every online wine retailer is selling Beaujolais Nouveau.’ said Yuan Jiang, founder and CEO of Chinese online wine distributor YesMyWine.

‘We were in touch with the 10 Beaujolais Crus three years ago, but we thought the market awareness of high end Beaujolais wasn’t high enough then,’ Yuan told ‘But now as consumer’s knowledge in quality Beaujolais is raising, we are now looking to selectively import some Beaujolais Crus that suit the needs of the Chinese market.’

According to the statistics provided by UbiFrance, exports of Beaujolais red wines to China in the first nine months of 2014 increased by 4.51% in volume versus the same period in 2013, to 155,200 litres. The value of exports jumped by 17.75% to EUR889,000 – recovering from a 15% drop in 2013 – whilst the overall amount of French AOC reds shipped to China in the first nine months of this year fell by 13.4% and 17.4% in volume and value respectively.

‘I think our efforts are proving successful as there is a buzz starting growing up around Beaujolais in the China wine trade,’ said Aurélie Vabre, export communication manager at Inter Beaujolais for Asia, UK and Russia.

The 2015 programme of Beaujolais masterclasses in China is due to be released in January.

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