DBR Lafite to split China distribution four ways

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Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) announced today that it is set to split the distribution of its six brands in China to four separate partners, including Pernod Ricard and ASC Fine Wines, from 1st July 2019.

Image credit: DBR Lafite
Image credit: DBR Lafite

The announcement confirms the end of its eight year exclusive distribution partnership with ASC Fine Wines, after months of rumours on the split in the domestic trade.

In an official release sent to the Chinese press today, the French producer said it is seeking a ‘structural change’ of its distribution system in China, in an effort to allow its multiple brands to achieve ‘independent and multi-dimensional’ development in the market.

The group said that Pernod Ricard is to become the exclusive distributor of its Légende R and SAGA R from its ‘Collection’ series. Both are popular everyday brands that have a significant e-commerce presence in China.

ASC Fine Wines will retain the exclusive distribution of its Viña Los Vascos brand from Chile and Domaine d’Aussieres from Languedoc in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, said the DBR Lafite group.

Beijing ABA Trading Co is set to become the exclusive distributor of Bodegas CARO, a partnership between DBR Lafite and the Catena family in Mendoza.

The distribution of the group’s Château Paradis Casseuil of Entre-Deux-Mers and Château Peyre-Lebade of Haut-Médoc are set to be taken on by Shanghai Bailian Youan Imported Food Supply Chain Management Co. The importer forms part of the Bailian Group, a state-owned enterprise in Shanghai that owns a number of department stores and shopping centres.

ASC Fine Wines described its partnership with DBR Lafite since 2011 as ‘exciting and fruitful’.

‘We played an instrumental role in the development of each other, in a time when the entire wine market in China was booming in unprecedented scale and speed.

Now we choose to be more focused. Fine wines, in our view, premium wines made with artisanal attitude is our positioning. Los Vascos and Aussieres are the kind of wine in DBR Lafite’s portfolio besides its chateau wines of course.

’ said Yoshi Shibuya, CEO of ASC in an official release today.

Moving forward, the importer seeks to sustain ‘a partnership of interest, a partnership of values, a partnership of ambition for a shared future’ with DBR Lafite, said Shibuya.

‘We are honoured to be a part of this partnership,’ said Jean-Etienne Gourgues, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard China. ‘Together with them, we are confident in accelerating consumer recruitment and making greater achievements here in China.’

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