Plans to introduce a quality hierarchy in the Graves wine region

Friday May 17 2019 by Vitisphere

“We do not have any reputation issues, but rather conversion into market share”, says Dominique Guignard, the appellation’s chairman.“We do not have any reputation issues, but rather conversion into market share”, says Dominique Guignard, the appellation’s chairman.

The primary quality of an ambassador is diplomacy. This is reflected in considerations being given to a collective brand project, Ambassadeur de Graves, within the producer’s organisation. Both voluntary and reviewed annually, the strategy does not lack ambition, and its aim is to structure the Graves wine proposition. The idea is to create a driving force that would propel the entire appellation forward, based on wine analysis criteria, a tasting panel and good environmental practices. Although the trademark was registered on May 3 by the National Institute of Intellectual Property, the concept of Graves Ambassador is still very much open to debate, as evidenced by the information meeting held on May 2 at the Graves wine centre.

Internal differences

The discussions Vitisphere was privy to in Podensac were certainly lively. One person closely involved in the project called it “a tool allowing properties that do quality work with a high level of environmental standards to emerge”. However, for one critical winery owner, it is “a misleading quality endorsement, a private sticker to replace the critics that we are no longer able to attract to Graves because of a level of quality that is too low”. Another winegrower criticised the producers’ organisation for “its obsession with the success of Pessac-Léognan and its grands crus classés, which leads us towards a system halfway between a classification and an annual competition”. The price of the Ambassadeur de Graves endorsement also came under fire as being elitist at 25 cents per bottle (5,000 euros for 20,000 bottles).

If we don't try, we're sure it won't work.

Opinions against the project are in a minority and the majority support it”, claimed Dominique Guignard, chairman of the Graves producers’ organisation. As the consultation phase is not closed, it is difficult to know more about how the producers’ organisation will proceed from here on.

 

 

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